Philippines, Japan are 'demographic partners’?Dominguez
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has expressed confidence that as the Philippines’ economic emergence gains traction, its bilateral relations with Japan will “grow more comprehensively” over the years especially as both countries complement each other and can even become “demographic partners.”
Dominguez told the Japanese business community that Japan’s forward-looking enterprises and more experienced and highly skilled labor force with a median age of up to 46 years old and the Philippines’ young, technology savvy workers whose average age is 24 years old complement each other.
Confirming the potentials of this demographic complementarity, he said, are the 78 Osaka-based companies operating in the Philippines as of 2017 and that are run by Japanese expatriates who employ thousands of talented, English-proficient Filipino employees.
“Over the years, we have enjoyed excellent trade relations and business collaboration with the hardy enterprises of this prefecture. I am sure that in the coming period, we will discover even more complementarities,” Dominguez said at the Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) held at the Imperial Hotel Osaka.
This latest PEB, which showcases the Philippines’ vast potentials as a premier investment destination, is the third to be held in Japan. Previous PEB events were both held in Tokyo in September 2017 and in June last year.
Dominguez invited investors based in the port city and the rest of the Kansai region to take a closer look at how the Philippines and its economy have improved, and to explore the myriad of investment opportunities that have opened up as a result of the bold reforms being undertaken by the Duterte administration?“from the booming construction sector to the blossoming tourism industry.”
“The Philippines is currently one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia. Our resilience has been tested and proven strong. Our young population is eager to work with forward-looking enterprises. Our people are most welcoming to our closest friends in the region,” Dominguez said. “I invite you to be part of this remarkable economic unfolding.”
During the forum, Dominguez underscored anew Japan’s key role in jumpstarting the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program as he pointed out that the single biggest project in this ambitious initiative is the Philippines’ first-ever underground rail system, the Metro Manila Subway, which is being funded in large part by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The Metro Manila Subway project is the recipient of the largest Official Development Assistance (ODA) that the Philippines has ever received from Japan. A JPY 104.53 billion loan agreement between the two countries for this project was signed in March last year.
Dominguez had also acknowledged the Japanese government’s generous support for “Build, Build, Build” during the recent visit of Japan Foreign Minister Tar? K?no to Davao City. DMS