TOKYO – More partnerships and over USD 10 million-worth of potential sales are expected with the successful holding of investment forum and business matching sessions on the second day of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Japan visit. The Philippine Business Forum and Business Matching event were organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PITC) Japan on 30 May 2019.

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. There were 120 business meetings conducted between Filipino and Japanese companies.

A Memorandum of Understanding on supply of manpower services was also explored.

The business forum was opened by Madame Honeylet Avanceña and DTI officials led by Secretary Ramon Lopez. DTI presented the Philippine (PH) 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,” said Sec. Lopez.

According to DTI, investors see plenty of opportunities in a fast growing PH 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 thru preferential trade agreements with United States and European Union.

The forum also served as venue to update Japanese investors of various government reforms implemented by President Duterte’s administration, such as streamlining and simplifying of government processes to facilitate ease in doing business in the country, infrastructure development, and further opening up of more sectors for foreign equity participation.

The Japanese companies present during the event include Toshiba, Mizuho Bank, Mitsukoshi, Toyota Tusho, Sojitz, and Kagima. Meanwhile, the PH business delegation was composed of Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philippine Franchise Association, Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation, EEI, DMCI, Eastern Petroleum, First Asia Venture Capital, EMS Components Assembly, Meralco, Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc., and Magsaysay People Resources Corporation, among others.

The Philippine Business Forum was held at the sidelines of President 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, BOI Director Angelica Cayas, and DTI-Export Marketing Bureau Assistant Director Anthony Rivera.♦

Date of Release: 31 May 2019