L to R: (front) 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 Chief Executive Officer Joshua Bingcang, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Francisco Dakila Jr.;

(back) 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 UnitTeam 3 Manager Satoru Wachi

Tokyo, Japan—“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,” said Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual in his engagement with Sumitomo Corporation, a diversified Japanese trading giant.

Secretary Pascual, along with other Cabinet secretaries, met with Sumitomo Corporation’s Diverse Urban Development Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Executive Officer Yukihito Honda and other key company officials on June 19. The meeting provided a platform to acknowledge the company’s extensive footprint and outline strategic plans for continued collaboration across various sectors in the Philippines.

Sumitomo Corporation plays a crucial role in developing and managing industrial parks, such as the First Philippine Industrial Park (FPIP) in Batangas. Established in 1996, FPIP has attracted manufacturing businesses and created significant employment opportunities in the region.

Both parties discussed the expansion of FPIP to attract high-value manufacturing industries, including research and development centers and data centers. Additionally, Sumitomo Corporation is exploring the development of residential and commercial areas around the park to enhance the lives of employees and the surrounding community.

Beyond infrastructure, the company also boasts a strong track record in railway development and railcar exports, contributing significantly to the Philippines’ infrastructure landscape. Their involvement in projects like the Light Rail Transit Lines 1, 2, and the Manila Metro Rail Transit System (MRT) Line 3, has improved urban mobility and reduced air pollution in Metro Manila. 

Given their expertise in railway development, the DTI expressed enthusiasm for Sumitomo Corporation’s expansion plans which include participation in the massive Metro Manila Subway Project and the critical MRT Line 3 Maintenance Project. The company is also considering taking over MRT 3 operations and maintenance through a concession framework that can potentially improve public transportation efficiency.

The assurance of support from Philippine government agencies for the manufacturing industry through preferential policies and incentives was a key point of discussion. Meanwhile, Sumitomo Corporation agreed to explore joint efforts with the Philippine Embassy and relevant agencies to attract further Japanese foreign direct investment to the Philippines through seminars and promotional events.

Commercial Counselor Dita Angara-Mathay, who leads the DTI field office in Japan, also reported that Sumitomo Corporation is interested in the privatization bid for the Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan (CBK) hydropower plants in Lumban, Majayjay, and Kalayaan in Laguna. The CBK hydroelectric power plant complex, which includes three facilities with a total capacity of 796.64-megawatt (MW), is a leading player in the Luzon power system.

“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,” said Secretary Pascual. 

“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 added. ♦

Date of release: 20 June 2024