Mitsui and Co., one of the largest trading firms in Japan, is aggressively looking at the Philippines for prospective investments in the country’s energy sector and may formalize business ventures here as early as next year.
Besides Mitsui, another Japanese firm, Mitsubishi Corp., is currently studying investment opportunities in the country.
“Ang gusto talaga makapasok dito ay si Mitsui [the company that is really eager to invest here in the Philippines is Mitsui],” Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla said in a phone interview with The Manila Times.
“They are very, very keen on [doing business in the Philippines], they are very aggressive. Next year siguro nandiyan na sila [Mitsui may formalize their planned venture in the country as early as next year],” he added.
According to Petilla, Mitsui is more interested in looking at indicative projects in the country, or those that were already planned for by other local power firms but are in the pending process.
“Rather than start from scratch, they prefer to look at projects that are indicative,” he said, adding that it will only take a minimum of three months for Mitsui to establish its presence in the Philippines since it initially plans to do joint ventures in existing projects.
Mitsui earlier expressed its interest to participate in the country’s liquefied natural gas industry.
In a bid to boost foreign investments in the country’s energy sector, officials of the Department of Energy (DOE) attended a dialogue-symposium on energy in Tokyo, Japan, last week.
In a statement, the energy department said that the DOE delegation, led by Petilla, presented opportunities to a hundred of potential investors from different Japanese firms.
The event was part of the project “Study on the Energy Sector Reform in the Philippines,” a collective undertaking of the DOE, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and Institute of Energy Economics, Japan.
Organized and funded by JICA, it will tackle issues on energy policy and energy-related investment opportunities in the country.