MANILA-- One of the world's largest private financial institutions has expressed its support for the Philippines' development agenda, particularly in the Duterte administration's unprecedented infrastructure program.
In a meeting here with Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III on the sidelines of the 50th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), officials of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) said the institution will help further expand the development of the Philippines.
Led by Takayoshi Futae, its managing executive officer and CEO for Asia and Oceania, MUFG officials said they want to work together with the Philippines as it embarks on its multitrillion-peso infrastructure buildup.
Dominguez, for his part, welcomed the assistance offered by the MUFG officials and asked them to help in formulating hedging strategies for the Philippines to optimize its investments and reduce risks in its accelerated infra development plan.
We also want to develop medium-sized companies by encouraging them to partner with equally sized Japanese companies for more inclusivity in our development strategy, Dominguez told MUFG officials.
The other MUFG officers at the meeting were Yasutaka Suehiro, CEO and Head of Asia; Frederic Cabay, head of financial institutions, Asia and Oceania Corporate Banking Division for Asia and Oceania No. 2; Augusto King, managing director, head of Capital Markets Group, Asia; and Yoshio Urabe, executive director, Debt Capital Markets Division, Investment Banking Business Unit.
According to Futae, the Japan-based MUFG is the world's largest project finance bank with investments in large-scale infrastructure such as railroads and airports.
MUFG's global network spans 50 countries across the globe. With approximately USD 2.6 trillion in assets, S&P Global Intelligence lists it as the world's fifth biggest bank in terms of assets.
In the meeting, Dominguez also informed MUFG of the Philippine government's planned big-ticket infrastructure projects under its PHP8.4 trillion Build, Build, Build program, among them, the Clark-Manila railway, the Manila-Calamba commuter railway, and the Mega Manila Subway, which will be funded with possible development assistance from Japan.
The projects we have proposed to the Japanese government are really aimed at decongesting Metro Manila, Dominguez said.
Dominguez also updated MUFG officials of the other projects funded with Japanese assistance, among them, a 4.9 billion yen five-year project that aims to jumpstart agribusiness investments in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and other conflict-affected areas in the South.
The project, called the Harnessing Agribusiness Opportunities through Robust and Vibrant Entrepreneurship Supportive of Peaceful Transformation (HARVEST) is designed to help create an enabling investment environment in the ARMM and other conflict areas in Southern Philippines to help rev up the economy and raise incomes in these communities, Dominguez said.
The Land Bank of the Philippines and the government of Japan recently signed the loan agreement for the HARVEST project.
Last month, the first meeting of the Philippines-Japan Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation was held in Tokyo to discuss the details of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's commitment to deliver a 1 trillion yen (about billion) financing package to the Philippines.
Dominguez and other Philippine officials were in Yokohama last week to attend the 50th Annual Meeting of the ADB Board of Governors and other related meetings.
The finance secretary assumed the chairmanship of the ADB Board of Governors ahead of this financial institution's 51st Annual Meeting in 2018 that will be held in the Philippines.
Source: Philippines News Agency