Marubeni to raise stake in PH energy
TOKYO — Marubeni Corp., one of the oldest and largest foreign companies in the Philippines, has pledged to increase its investments in the energy sector to help the Marcos administration address the country’s power cost woes.
“We are very much committed to increase renewable energy, like mini hydro, solar and wind project and we are discussing with your country [and] our local partner to develop such kind of new facilities,” said Masumi Kakinoki, chief executive officer of Marubeni Corp.
Kakinoki made the pledge on Friday — the third day of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s working visit to Japan — as he joined 34 other Japanese companies in formalizing letters of intent with the Philippine government.
The president, who was present at the signing, said the 35 investment agreements would likely have a tangible economic impact soon.
“I think that we will be able to feel the effects of these discussions, of these agreements, very, very soon, very rapidly back home in the Philippines,” Marcos said, adding that his trip was proving to be “very productive.”
“We’re talking about agriculture. We are talking about digitalization. We are talking about industry. We are talking about automotive development. We are talking about energy. Even education, tourism,” he said.
The chief executive said the relationship between Japan and the Philippines has grown since 1956 when the two nations began diplomatic relations.
“We owe Japan a debt of gratitude for the support that they have given us in those years, even in the 1960s, in the 1970s and all the way up to now, where they have supported our infrastructure development,” he said. Japanese government officials and business leaders were also “very open in our discussions for the plans to help increase the development of our country.”
Ramon Ang, president and chief executive officer of San Miguel Corp., who was among the Filipino business leaders who joined the meeting, agreed that many Japanese companies have indeed shown interest in the Philippines.
“There are many Japanese businessmen who want to invest in the country. Of course, we are looking for good deals for those,” Ang told reporters here.
“They admire our president so there are many who want to invest. They are very energetic about investing,” said Ang, who also met with Japanese companies Mitsui, Sumitomo, Taisei, and Toyo Engineering for possible deals.
Many of the companies already have subsidiaries in the Philippines.
Marubeni, for instance, is already involved in the Philippines’ power sector and operates the San Roque dam and Sual power plants in Pangasinan as well as the Pagbilao plant in Quezon.
In PH since 1909
He added that Marubeni was also involved in “providing water in the communities in the western part of Metropolitan Manila … we’re very happy to be involved in this project also.” Marubeni owns a 21.54-percent stake in Maynilad Water Services Inc. in partnership with Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (52.8 percent) and DMCI Holdings Inc. (25.24 percent).
“We are very grateful to have [been] given such an opportunity to be involved in the basic infrastructure of your country,” Kakinoki said after a meeting with Marcos.
Marubeni has been operating in the Philippines as a trading company since 1909. It is now involved in health care, transportation, industrial machinery, port services, and steel production.
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