TOKYO — Vice President Jejomar C. Binay on Tuesday assured Japanese investors that they can now do business in the Philippines without having to worry about corruption in government.
Binay gave the assurance during a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada at the Prime Minister’s Office here in Tokyo.
Okada for his part said the Philippine government’s continuing efforts to curb corruption was “a very good incentive” for investors. He said he believes Japanese investors should pay greater attention to the Philippines as an alternative investment site outside of China, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.
Binay was in town to keynote an important international conference on cybersecurity. He was accompanied during the talks by Philippine Ambassador Manolo Lopez and a couple of advisers on international relations from the Office of the Vice President.
The Vice President told Okada that there were a lot of opportunities for Japanese investors in the Philippines.
“Japanese investors should consider investing in energy and tourism projects in the Philippines, among others,” Binay suggested.
During the talks, Okada called for more high-level political exchanges between the Philippines and Japan to deepen their bilateral economic and trade relationship. He said such exchanges were the reason why Japan’s trade and economic relationship with other countries in Southeast Asia such as Vietnam and Indonesia has been deepening.
Okada also told Binay that the Philippine and Japanese economies would be able to complement each other because the Philippines has something which Japan no longer has, namely “young labor.” The median age of the Filipino work force is 21.7 years, while that of the Japanese is 45.
Moreover, Okada assured the Vice President that Japan would continue to use its Official Development Assistance (ODA) to promote the Philippines’ inclusive growth.
The Vice President meanwhile reiterated to Okada President Benigno S. Aquino’s invitation to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to visit the Philippines at his earliest convenience.
The Deputy Prime Minister thanked Binay for the excellent service being provided by Filipino nurses and caregivers.
Binay thanked Okada in turn for the support and assistance the Japanese government is giving to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). He is the Presidential Adviser on OFW Concerns.
Moreover, Okada expressed optimism that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will continue to discuss the issue of peaceful navigation in the West Philippine Sea among its members and between ASEAN and China.
The ASEAN foreign ministers recently failed to reach an agreement on a code of conduct on the disputed territories during a conference in Cambodia.
Binay described his talks with Okada as “warm, friendly and most productive.”