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Aboitiz InfraCapital collaborates with the PH government, strengthens ties with Japanese investors

Press Release

November 19, 2022

Aboitiz InfraCapital Economic Estates led by Head Rafael Fernandez de Mesa (4th from left), along with EPSON Precisions Philippines President Akefumi Takei (2nd from right) and Yamaha Philippines President Hiroshi Koike (4th from right), join the Philippine delegation from PTIC – Tokyo, Bureau of Investments, PEZA and Department of Energy for the recently concluded Philippine Business Forum in Tokyo, Japan.

NOV 14, Tokyo, Japan – Aboitiz InfraCapital (AIC), the infrastructure arm of the Aboitiz Group, further reinforces its partnership with the national government in its bid to position the Philippines as a major investment hub in Asia and the Pacific. AIC, together with the Department of Trade and Industry’s Board of Investments (DTI-BOI), Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC – Tokyo), the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), and the Department of Energy (DOE) successfully teamed up in the recently-concluded Japan business roadshow with a collective goal to attract Japanese business leaders and companies to consider the Philippines as destination for their expansion prospects.

The Philippine business delegation met with potential investors–including members of the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI), and Japan-Philippines Economic Cooperation Committee (JPECC)–to discuss business opportunities in the Philippines through AIC and Aboitiz affiliates. AIC also met with over 200 potential investors, jumpstarting discussions for potential investments within its numerous estates in Batangas and Cebu provinces in the Philippines.

The Philippine Business Forum also showcased the Philippines’ and AIC’s credentials as a major investment destination, highlighting the numerous awards that the country and AIC has received in the recent years, and the numerous business benefits foreign investors would receive, including ease of doing business, the country’s strategic location, and fiscal and non-fiscal incentives the Philippines offers in comparison to other ASEAN countries.

Aboitiz InfraCapital Economic Estates discussed sustainable business opportunities in the Philippines with over 200 Japanese investors present in the roadshow.

At the Philippine Business Forum, Aboitiz InfraCapital Economic Estates Head Rafael Fernandez De Mesa, showcased the pioneering smart city and sustainability initiatives that the company has incorporated and continues to build upon at its Economic Estates in Batangas and Cebu. Fernandez de Mesa highlighted the 240 hectares of ongoing expansions at LIMA Estate in Lipa-Malvar Batangas and West Cebu Estate in Balamban, Cebu, which sparked interest among the investors in attendance.

The expansions position AIC’s Economic Estates to capitalize on the demand from Japanese manufacturers and businesses who are looking to invest in the Philippines, and are expected to stimulate economic activity by generating up to 40,000 jobs.

“Together we have developed a strong and thriving ecosystem attracting leaders of industries in electronics and semiconductor, in automotive components and wire harness, in medical technologies, in printers, motorcycle production, and food and beverage, among many others. We are proud to say that about half of our 150 locators are highly respected Japanese companies who have sought to expand operations in the Philippines,” Fernandez De Mesa shared, noting that the LIMA Estate’s primary use is for the industrial sector, which he described as a catalyst for what the ecozone is today.

Fernandez de Mesa also emphasized the reliability of Japanese locators operating in the LIMA Estate under the the manufacturing and infrastructure section; as well as shipbuilding and maritime transport company Tsuneishi Holdings operating at AIC’s West Cebu Estate located in the Philippines’ shipbuilding capital, Balamban.

According to PEZA, Japan has 962 locators in the Philippines. These businesses are involved in warehousing and storage, metal fabrication, rubber and plastic products, radio, television, and communication equipment and apparatus, and software development. PEZA-registered Japanese businesses invest P727.679 billion and employ 353,763 workers, generating $11.065 billion in exports for the economy.

Operating in the industrial and supply chain sector, AIC’s Economic Estates are home to 200 businesses, 74 of which are Japanese. The LIMA Estate, located in Lipa, Batangas houses 150 locators, including the Japan-based companies of Yamaha, Epson, Bandai, and Hitachi Cable. From the 100,000 Filipinos employed across AIC’s three Economic Estates in Batangas and Cebu, 30,000 are employed by Japanese companies.

Representing the Philippine business delegation are Aboitiz InfraCapital Economic Estates Head Rafael Fernandez de Mesa, Aboitiz Renewables, Inc. President and COO James Arnold Villaroman, PTIC-Tokyo Commercial Counselor Ma. Bernardita Mathay, DTI Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo, PEZA OIC-Director General Tereso Panga, PEZA OIC Deputy Director General Aleem Siddiqui Guiapal, and Department of Energy OIC Assistant Secretary Mylene C. Capongcol, who all aimed to entice over 200 Japanese businessmen and investors to conduct business in the Philippines with incentives, benefits, and perks they can enjoy should they choose to expand in the country. Also present in the event were EPSON Precision Philippines President Akifumi Takei, and Yamaha Philippines President Hiroshi Koike, who both served as testaments to the country’s strong relationship with Japanese businesses.

AIC: Promoting PH as an investment hub

AIC has established itself at the forefront in the outpour of investments in the country, particularly through its relationship with PEZA to promote the creation of economic zones to accommodate foreign investments in the Philippines. With the goal of boosting the economy and creating more jobs for Filipinos, AIC also recently flew to Korea aiming to attract Korean investors at the Philippine-Korea Investment Forum last October. The company aims to continue these efforts by the first quarter of 2023, eyeing Dubai and Singapore as its next stops to the economic viability of the Philippines backed with support from the national government.

“…I would also like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the many Japanese companies that have entrusted their business to us and with it, have provided livelihood for tens of thousands of Filipinos. The Aboitiz Group has always had good relations with Japanese companies. Not only have Japanese companies been some of the top investors in our Economic Estates, but they are also our partners in a number of our businesses,” said Aboitiz InfraCapital Head of Economic Estates Rafael Fernandez de Mesa, one of the country delegates who participated in the Japan Roadshow. “Looking ahead, we are committed to helping establish the Philippines as a preferred investment destination in the region, and we would be honored to welcome more Japanese leaders in industry such as yourselves to Aboitiz InfraCapital Economic Estates.”

Engaging Potential Stakeholders

Aboitiz InfraCapital Economic Estates First Vice President Rafael Fernandez de Mesa met and engaged with different foreign delegates during the roadshow, sparking business partnerships with potential stakeholders.

PEZA OIC Director General Tereso Panga tackled the growth of Japanese-led business in the Philippines, with a total of 898 Japanese locator companies operating under PEZA, mainly in the warehouse and storage, electrical machinery and apparatus, and rubber and plastic product industries. Guiapal added that 27.31% of ecozone locator investments are from Japan, these numbers have resulted in an export amounting to $13.258 Billion from January-September 2022 alone, and a total of 351,335 employment opportunities for Filipinos. PEZA also endorsed to Japanese investors the benefits of engaging with PEZA, including tax incentives, ease of business recognized internationally by the US Department of State and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and a higher GDP benefit in comparison to ASEAN neighbors.

DTI Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Dr. Ceferino S. Rodolfo boasted of the Philippines’s strong economic growth, game-changing economic reforms, and the country as an ideal regional hub for sustainable, foundation-driven manufacturing services. He emphasized on the importance of PH-JPN relationships, citing strong alignment across all levels, fundamental resource, and regional and bilateral policies, commending Aboitiz InfraCapital as a strong and reliable strategic partner for investors. “They are pioneers and leaders in key areas that we discussed, including renewable energy and digitalization and they also administered visionary industrial souls that will provide you with full solutions should you decide to locate in the Philippines,” said Rodolfo.

Aboitiz InfraCapital boasts thirty years of expertise producing new concepts through its mixed-use estates, which include commercial, residential, and institutional purposes. A leader in sustainable development, AIC is the first industrial estate and the largest project in the Philippines to receive a BERDE District Certification, and the PhilGBC Leadership in Sustainable Design and Performance Award for the Commercial, establishing a high standard for future developments. Mr. Fernandez De Mesa further said that an expansion spanning 150 hectares is ongoing within LIMA Estate, incorporating more industrial land and enhancing the existing CBD with BPOs, dormitories, condominiums, hotels, schools, and hospitals. He said the estate has around 65,000 employees, with the headcount projected to increase to about 100,000 by the end of the decade.

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