INVESTMENTS. (From left) PEZA OIC Deputy Director General for Finance and Administration Aleem Siddiqui Guiapal, Kurabe Industrial Philippines, Inc. President Suyama Koichi, Kurabe Industrial Philippines, Inc. President and CEO Kanazawa Takenobu, OIC Director General Tereso Panga, Aboitiz InfraCapital Head of Economic Estates Rafael Fernandez de Mesa, and Vice President for Operations of Lima Land, Inc. during the Signing of Registration Agreement with Kurabe Industrial Philippines, Inc. (Photo courtesy of PEZA)

MANILA – The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) on Tuesday said it signed two agreements with Japanese firms with the aim to attract more investments in the country’s renewable energy and manufacturing sectors.

In a statement, PEZA said it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Junca Global Partner, Inc. and a Registration Agreement with Kurabe Industrial Philippines, Inc. during the investment mission in Japan last Nov. 14 to 18.

The MOU with Junca aims to promote the Philippines as an investment destination for startup companies engaged in the fourth industrial revolution.

The MOU also targets to strengthen collaboration and partnership between Filipino and Japanese startups to bolster the country’s innovation-driven industries, particularly innovation in renewable energy.

“With the signed MOU, PEZA and Junca will collaborate in bringing renewable energy technologies to ecozones and thereby enable locator companies to remain globally competitive while at the same time contributing to mitigating the effects of climate change pursuant to the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement,” PEZA officer-in-charge Tereso Panga said.

Junca Chair and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Hiyasuki Nagatome also committed to invest in the Philippines, not only in the renewable energy sector but also industries where Junca’s innovation and technology can be applied.

“I guarantee you that Junca Holdings will invest and bring in the latest technology in the Philippines through PEZA, especially in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain system, biotech and stem cell, and wellness products,” he said.

Moreover, PEZA sealed a Registration Agreement with Kurabe to put up its manufacturing facility for car seat heater, steering wheel heater, and heating wires in Batangas.

Kurabe has secured a 5-hectare land in Lima Technology Center Special Economic Zone in Lipa City.

Panga said Japanese companies have been a staunch partner of PEZA in bringing economic development in the country, and the agency will continue to explore new opportunities in partnering with more Japanese enterprises.

“We draw our guidance from the priority strategy of President Bongbong Marcos which are into economy, agriculture, and renewable energy. We are also guided by DTI’s Science Technology Innovation-driven industrialization strategy,” he added.

Japanese firms are the largest investors in PEZA economic zones.

To date, there are 898 Japanese companies registered with PEZA, with total investments of PHP739.6 billion and employing 351,335 personnel.

From January to September 2022, Japanese firms invested PHP11.3 billion worth of projects within PEZA zones.

Export revenues of Japanese firms operating within the ecozones reached USD13.26 billion in the first nine months of the year. (PNA)