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An investment and trade briefing was conducted by Director Angelica Cayas of the BOI and Assistant Director Agnes Perpetua Legaspi of the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) for the visiting heads and officials of the Japanese group of companies. The consortium is composed of major players in the food and storage industry in Japan and will partner with Philippine groups in Mindanao and Luzon as part of their food-material sourcing, processing, storage and export to Japan.

The Japanese consortium was headed by Naoyuki Ishikura, president and CEO of Nisshin Food Material Co. Ltd. Ishikura was joined by top officials of Ajinomoto Co. Ltd., MC Food Specialties Co. Ltd., Marui Packaging Co. Ltd., Fukuyama Brewery, North Trade Japan and Yuasa Trading Co. Ltd.

Former Rep. Renato V. Diaz, now the chairman and president of RVD management services and Holding Co. Inc. and Philippine Aquamarine Resources Inc. (PARI), was also present and led the Japanese consortium during the meeting.

Diaz said the Japanese consortium is willing to invest $500 million in the Philippines to set up facilities to export  unagi (eel) and other seafoods to Japan.  The PARI is the prime mover for joint-venture arrangements with the Japanese consortium to set up plants in General Santos and Davao (Mindanao); Clark Freeport in Pampanga; and Cagayan economic zone in Cagayan.

Initially, the focus will be on aquamarine products, which will involve a backward integration of the supply chain form fishing (deep sea and offshore) and aquaculture, both in freshwater and seawater.  This will also involve the latest technology in processing, latest technology in storage and freezing (minus 70 degrees centigrade), cooking, packaging and shipping.

Fruits, such as mangoes, coconut, pineapple and bananas, will be the initial exports. Other agricultural products, such as vegetables, fruits  and nuts, are also being developed.□

Gina G. Yap, Senior Trade and Industry Development Specialist, Export Marketing Bureau, Department of Trade and Industry



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