In pursuit of exploring new investment promotion avenues, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) entered into an Investment Promotion Partnership with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) held yesterday, 23 January 2024, at the PEZA Head Office.
The MOU was signed by PEZA Director General Tereso O. Panga, SMBC Managing Executive Officer and Co-Head of APAC Yuichi Nishimura, and RCBC President and CEO Eugene S. Acevedo, and witnessed by distinguished guests, including Atty. Lilia B. De Lima, RCBC Advisory Board Member and former PEZA Director General, along with Japanese Embassy Minister for Economic Affairs Daisuke Nihei, and Second Secretary Kensuke Sugimoto.
In his remarks, PEZA DG Panga expressed gratitude to SMBC and RCBC and highlighted the strategic importance of this partnership as PEZA continues to play a pivotal role in positioning the country as an attractive investment destination in the region.
“With SMBC, a globally renowned Japanese financial institution, and RCBC, a leading bank in the Philippines, we are poised to create a powerful synergy that will significantly contribute to the economic landscape of the Philippines,” said Mr. Panga.
Meanwhile, SMBC Managing Executive Officer Nishimura added that “Japan has a strong, longstanding relationship with the Philippines. Our two countries enjoy a dynamic economic partnership which has steadily grown over the years based on the principles of mutual benefit and respect.”
Seconded by RCBC President and CEO Acevedo, “Together with PEZA and SMBC, we are creating an ecosystem that will facilitate seamless connections between Japanese investors and the vibrant opportunities that the Philippines has to offer. It’s easier to progress if the public and private sectors are aligned. We are lucky that a meeting of the minds happened this time, and that the current Director General, Mr. Tereso Panga, is aggressive with attracting Japanese investments.”
Looking forward to the concrete implementation of the MOU, the parties announced a joint investment promotion mission to Japan in March 2024, where PEZA will get the chance to directly market the Philippines and the ecozone model to valued clients of SMBC.
Targeting to further spur economic development, PEZA’s concerted efforts with SMBC and RCBC, its new esteemed Investment Promotion Partners (IPPs), will actively encourage and increase investments, especially those from Japanese companies. These endeavors are envisioned to further promote eco-zoning the country towards inclusive and sustainable development.
Japan remains the number one investor in PEZA, boasting 807 registered business enterprises (RBEs), totaling PhP797.84 billion in investments, US$13.45 billion in exports, and the creation of 336,442 direct jobs as of October 2023. There are 9 big-ticket approved investment projects from Japanese investors, amounting to PhP60.41 billion from July 2022 to December 2023.