ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Philippines to rely on Japan’s help in fueling the economy
The Philippines will continue to rely on Japan as a “true and reliable friend” on the path of economic emergence and prosperity, the Department of Finance said Friday.
As the Philippines emerges to join the ranks of Asia’s tiger economies, its bilateral ties with Japan have “become closer and stronger,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said.
“Japan remains the Philippines’ major source of official development assistance (ODA), its main source of infrastructure support, top export market, and one of its most important trade partners,” the department said in a statement.
A Philippine delegation was in Tokyo, from June 18 to 21, to share with potential investors the vibrant prospects of the economy and continue high-level dialogues with Japanese ministry officials on the Duterte administration’s flagship infrastructure projects that it aims to implement in cooperation with Japan.
“The story of Philippine independence, therefore, is also a story of partnership between our two nations. Japan’s willingness to support our development efforts has always been a strong thread running through our nation’s history,” Dominguez said during a diplomatic reception for the 120th anniversary of Philippine independence. The reception was staged at the Fuji Room of Imperial Hotel on Wednesday.
Also at the reception were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, former Prime Minister of Japan Yasuo Fukuda, Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Kono, Philippine Ambassador to Tokyo Jose Laurel V, Japanese Ambassador to Manila Koji Haneda, and Japan-Philippines Parliamentarian’s Friendship League chairman Nobuteru Ishihara.
“Over the past decades, Japan has been a true and reliable friend to the Philippines. It has been a major partner in our own development,” Dominguez said.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar were also in Tokyo.
Dominguez that over the medium-term, the Philippine government intends to make the “most dramatic advances” towards finally resolving its persistent problem of poverty, by working to make the country an upper middle-income economy and reduce poverty incidence to 14 percent by 2022.
The Cabinet official said he expects the country’s young and well-trained workforce to power this economic transformation.
“In this grand effort to bring our country to prosperity, we will continue to rely on Japan’s support and encouragement,” Dominguez said.
“Our bilateral relationship looks as promising as ever. The partnership between our two countries will surely become even more productive and vital.”
With the strength of friendship between the two countries, the Philippines looks at “the future with confidence,” he said.
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