PHL seeks stronger energy, infra ties with Sumitomo

(Front row, from left) Department of Energy Secretary Felix Fuentebella, National Economic Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Fred Pascual, Office of the Special Assistant to the President for Investment and Economic Affairs Secretary Frederick Go, Department of Finance Secretary Ralph Recto, Department of Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, Department of Budget and Management Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, Bases Conversion and Development Authority President and CEO Joshua Bingcang, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Francisco Dakila Jr.; (back row, from left) Sumitomo Corporation Overseas Energy Solution Unit Team No. 3 Leader Shinichiro Ichimura, Sumitomo Corporation of the Philippines President Hideyuki Nishio, Diverse Urban Development Group Managing Executive Officer and Group CEO Yukihito Honda, Social Infrastructure Strategic Business Unit Corporate Officer and General Manager Takeshi Noguchi, Transportation Systems & Infrastructure Unit Head Masanori Honda, and Industrial Park Unit Team 3 Manager Satoru Wachi. (DTI handout)

The Philippines is eyeing deeper collaboration with Sumitomo Corporation in the energy and infrastructure sectors.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual emphasized this during a meeting with the Japanese trading giant on June 19.

“The DTI welcomes Sumitomo Corporation’s continued interest in the Philippines’ power infrastructure sector, particularly their intention to explore further opportunities in our energy industry,” Pascual said.

He met with Sumitomo’s Diverse Urban Development Group CEO Yukihito Honda and other key officials, highlighting the corporation’s substantial role in Philippine development.

Sumitomo Corporation, renowned for managing the First Philippine Industrial Park (FPIP) in Batangas since 1996, discussed plans to expand FPIP to attract high-value manufacturing industries.

The expansion includes potential developments of residential and commercial areas to improve community living standards.

The meeting also covered Sumitomo’s robust contributions to Philippine railway projects, such as the Light Rail Transit Lines 1 and 2, and the Manila Metro Rail Transit System (MRT) Line 3.

The company’s expertise is anticipated to benefit the Metro Manila Subway Project and the MRT Line 3 Maintenance Project, with possible involvement in the operations and maintenance of MRT 3.

“We are actively pursuing policy reforms to create a more attractive and business-friendly environment for foreign investors. These reforms include streamlining business processes, establishing green lanes for priority investments, and enacting legislation that fosters a more predictable and transparent regulatory landscape,” Pascual added, underscoring the government’s commitment to enhancing the investment climate.

Sumitomo Corporation also expressed interest in the privatization bid for the Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan (CBK) hydropower plants in Laguna, which have a total capacity of 796.64 megawatts. The potential takeover of these facilities aligns with Sumitomo’s expansion in the Philippine energy sector.

Commercial Counselor Dita Angara-Mathay of the DTI field office in Japan reported ongoing discussions about Sumitomo’s efforts to boost Japanese foreign direct investment through seminars and promotional events in collaboration with the Philippine Embassy.

“We believe these initiatives, coupled with our strong partnership with established companies like Sumitomo Corporation, will position the Philippines for significant growth in the years to come,” Pascual concluded.

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