Vietnam premier urges more investment from Japan

18 January, 2017, 01:24 | Author: Essie Rivera

"Competition between China, Japan and other regional powers for economic and political influence will provide a boost to the Philippines' infrastructure sector, as countries promise billions of dollars in development aid, preferential financing and private investment", BMI said in a January 16 report titled "Philippines-Competition for Regional Influence will Boost Infrastructure". Duterte, in office in Manila since June, has turned the Philippines into something of an economic assistance battleground between Japan and China, who don't like each other for a list of reasons reaching back to World War II.

While the seeming tug-of-war between economic giants China and Japan would balance the heightened risk from heavily relying on the mainland, BMI Research noted that the dominance of homegrown conglomerates would make it hard to ramp up foreign investment in infrastructure. Both of them are roughly $9 billion a piece, which is about 18 trillion. "And there are some more ODA that we have received but I haven't counted in from various other countries", Dominguez said in a press briefing in Davao City.

The project was among issues discussed during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Sunday (Jan 15).

They agreed on the importance of ensuring peace, security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight, urging related sides to refrain from actions that can cause tension and militarization resulting in change of the status quo in the East Sea. Government officials will travel to China this month to discuss the projects, Dominguez said.

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He cited as an example the Calabarzon (Calamba, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) region which saw a lot of infrastructure development during the administration of President Corazon Aquino. Dominguez was also a member of the Cory administration.

The 10 investment areas are agriculture business sector, tourism and recreational facilities, light manufacturing and assembly, property development, health and wellness, educational, and sports facilities, environmental protection and green projects, information and communication technology, generation of new sources of energy, transportation and infrastructure, and public-private partnership projects.

Dominguez however emphasized that infrastructure development would not only cover physical projects but also education, training and other services that would make workers more competitive overseas.

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