TOKYO – More partnerships and more than USD10 million-worth of potential sales are expected with the successful holding of investment forum and business matching sessions during President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Japan.
The Philippine Business Forum and Business Matching events were organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PITC) Japan on May 30.
The DTI reported that close to 150 Japanese companies – involved in manufacturing, automobile, medical, information technology, and construction – were assisted and linked to 43 Filipino companies for possible partnerships and joint ventures.
Some 120 business meetings were conducted between Filipino and Japanese companies. A Memorandum of Understanding on supply of manpower services was also explored.
The business forum was opened by President Rodrigo Duterte’s partner, Honeylet Avanceña, and DTI officials led by secretary Ramon Lopez.
The trade department presented the Philippine growth story, as well as the opportunities both in the industry and services sectors. The sessions encouraged more Japanese business executives to expand their operations in the country.
“We are very keen in engaging with Japan, especially on the aspect of manufacturing and innovation, and how we can work together to strengthen not only manufacturing but also other industries, as well as several subsectors under Services. We want to identify business opportunities in Japan and the Philippines in areas of mutual interest,” Lopez said.
According to DTI, investors see plenty of opportunities in a fast-growing Philippine economy, enjoying stable macroeconomic fundamentals, higher credit rating of BBB+, the educated English-speaking workforce, the demographic sweet spot that presents a growing consumer base with better purchasing power and wider market access through preferential trade agreements with the United States and the European Union.
The forum also served as the venue to update Japanese investors of various government reforms implemented by the Duterte administration, such as streamlining and simplifying of government processes to facilitate ease in doing business in the country, infrastructure development, and the further opening up of more sectors for foreign equity participation.
The Japanese companies present during the event included Toshiba, Mizuho Bank, Mitsukoshi, Toyota Tusho, Sojitz, and Kagima.
Meanwhile, the Philippine business delegation was composed of representatives of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philippine Franchise Association, Toyota Motor Philippines Corp., EEI, DMCI, Eastern Petroleum, First Asia Venture Capital, EMS Components Assembly, Meralco, Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc., and Magsaysay People Resources Corp.
The Philippine Business Forum was held on the sidelines of Duterte’s attendance at the Nikkei’s 25th International Conference on The Future of Asia. Also present during the event were DTI Assistant Secretary Angelo Taningco, Board of Investments Director Angelica Cayas, and DTI-Export Marketing Bureau Assistant Director Anthony Rivera./PN