Philippine Economic Briefing 2017 in Tokyo

September 2017

On September 26, taking the occasion of a visit to Japan by members of the Philippine Cabinet and other dignitaries, JETRO co-organized "The Philippine Economic Briefing 2017" with the Embassy of the Philippines in Japan, ASEAN-Japan Centre, Japan-Philippines Economic Cooperation Committee and Nomura Holdings. Presentations were made by cabinet members and leaders of government-affiliated organizations such as Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, making a passionate call to nearly 400 Japanese audience members to invest in the Philippines. Following that, representatives from leading companies in the Philippines and Japanese experts in the business field of the Philippines participated in a panel discussion to exchange opinions regarding the latest trends in the Philippine economy and prospects of tax reform and deregulation in the country.

For maintaining economic growth of the Philippines

At the beginning of the briefing, Co-Chairman Teruo Asada of the Japan-Philippines Economic Cooperation Committee, Chairman of the Board of Marubeni Corporation, said the following in his opening remarks: “Japanese companies are aware that the Philippines is an important business partner and that it is steadily growing under the leadership of the Duterte administration which has been making earnest efforts in its economic policies. As we expect further economic growth in the Philippines, we Japanese will work for the development of the country through both the public and private sectors.” In his greeting, Ambassador Jose Castillo Laurel made an appeal for further investment from Japan by mentioning the resolution of the Philippines to join the ranks of upper middle income countries by 2022 and stressing the numerous potential business opportunities lying in the Philippines.

In the first session, the fact that the Philippines’ economy can sustain high growth supported by sound macroeconomic management was individually explained by Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno of the Department of Budget and Management and Governor Nester Espenilla of the Philippines' central bank. Following that, Vice Chairperson Teresita T. Sy-Coson of SM Investments and Executive Vice President Yuri Sato of JETRO joined the speakers in a panel discussion, where policies were laid out for further improving the investment climate through deregulation of foreign direct investment and accelerating the government’s tax reform to contribute to sustainable economic development.

In the second session, presentations were also made by Secretary Arthur P. Tugade of the Department of Transportation, Secretary Mark Aguilar Villar of the Department of Public Works and Highways and President and CEO Vivencio B. Dizon of the Philippine Bases Conversion and Development Authority. They introduced expectations that through the large-scale infrastructure development plan at the core of Philippine economic policy - known as “Build, Build, Build” - infrastructure-related expenditure, which has been stagnant over a long period of time, would increase to 7.3% of GDP by end of 2022. In addition to extending the total distance of railroads from the current 77 km to 1,900 km by the end of 2022, this is expected to allow the government to decentralize the concentration of economic activity in the capital area by improving road networks and developing local cities. Following that, Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea, Vice Chairman Alfred Vy Ty of GT Capital Holdings and Assistant to CEO Yoshio Amano of Mitsubishi Corporation joined the speakers in another panel discussion, where a consensus was reached that infrastructure development is a key issue for sustainable economic growth and that plans should be steadily implemented. Secretary-General Masataka Fujita of the ASEAN-Japan Center stated in his closing remarks that while the Philippines’ population bonus is anticipated to continue until the mid-2050s, large-scale infrastructure investment and deregulation are necessary in terms of expanding consumption and production. He continued that it is expected to promote financing the infrastructure development by the private investment and PPP as well as government spending.

The forum

Part 1: The Philippine Economic Growth Story

Part 2: “Build Build Build”


Time and date Tuesday, September 26, 2017 from 9:30 – 12:00
Venue Conrad Tokyo, Annex 2nd floor "Kazanami"
Organizer Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Japan, ASEAN-Japan Center, Japan-Philippines Economic Cooperation Committee, Japan External Trade Organization and Nomura Holdings
Participants Approx. 380 (including from Japanese companies, Philippine and Japanese government-affiliated organizations and media outlets)
    The Rising Philippine Economy: Powering Gains with Global Partners through Shared Goals
  • Opening
    Opening remarks by Teruo Asada, Chairman of Japan-Philippine Economic Cooperation Committee (Chairman of the Board of Marubeni Corporation)
    Welcome remarks by Jose C. Laurel V, Ambassador to Japan
  • Part 1: The Philippine Economic Growth Story
    Carlos G. Dominguez III (Secretary of Finance)
    Ernesto M. Pernia (Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning; Director-General of National Economic and Development Authority, NEDA)
    Benjamin E. Diokno (Secretary of Budget and Management)
    Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. (Governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, BSP)
    Panel discussion
    Carlos Dominguez (Secretary of Finance), Ernesto Pernia (Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning; Director-General of NEDA), Benjamin Diokno (Secretary of Budget and Management), Nestor Espenilla (Governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, BSP), Teresita Sy-Coson (Vice Chair, SM Investments Corporation), and Yuri Sato (Executive Vice President, JETRO)
    Moderator: Euben Paracuelles, Senior Economist, Nomura Singapore
  • Part 2: Build Build Build: The Philippine Golden Age of Infrastructure
    Arthur P. Tugade (Secretary of Transportation)
    Mark A. Villar (Secretary of Public Works and Highways)
    Vivencio B. Dizon (President & CEO, Bases Conversion and Development
    Panel discussion
    Panelists: Arthur Tugade (Secretary of Transportation), Mark Viillar (Secretary of Public Works and Highways), Salvador Medialdea (Executive Secretary), Vivencio Dizon (President & CEO of BCDA), Alfred VyTy (Vice Chairman, GT Capital Holdings), Yoshio Amano (Assistant to CEO, Global Environmental & Infrastructure Business Group, Mitsubishi Corporation)
    Moderator: Euben Paracuelles, Senior Economist, Nomura Singapore
  • Closing
    Closing remarks by Masataka Fujita, Secretary General of
    ASEAN-Japan Centre