DTI’s Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Tokyo (PTIC-Tokyo) found a partner in Japan’s Seibu Shinkin Bank. Sharing the same vision of supporting SMEs, the Japanese government has been encouraging its small and medium enterprises (SME) to expand overseas specially to the ASEAN market. The regional bank aids SMEs through various financial services and programs. Following the signing of an MOU on Philippine – Japan Trade and Investment Promotion and Cooperation, DTI Japan and Seibu Shinkin Bank have met several times to work on activities that will help materialize this vision of cooperation. 
Last Tuesday, November 6, 2018, the Seibu Shinkin Bank held their annual Business Fair that showcased 241 Japanese and a few overseas SMEs in the manufacturing, electronics, healthcare, food, security, IT and environment protection sectors. 5 companies were among Philippines’ participants. These were Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc., Ionics EMS Inc., Almazora Motors, Essence and Orich International Traders, Inc.
Go Lokal! Philippines was given the privilege to promote Filipino MSME producers and their unique products. The Go Lokal! Philippines booth were met with exuberant reception. With exposure to an estimated 6,000 visitors, Go Lokal! handmade and eco-friendly items’ colors, design and texture, and natural charm easily appealed to the Japanese sense of aesthetic and functionality.
Throughout the duration of the one-day event, our Filipino fair participants took part in 45 pre-arranged meetings with prospective investment and trade partners. PTIC-Tokyo’s chief, Commercial Counsellor Ma. Bernardita A. Mathay, gave a keynote address, along with other officials from Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Italy and the Netherlands.
With these and many more initiatives coming into play in Japan, there is no doubt that Filipinos will continue to make a name for themselves anywhere in the world. With talent and artistry and the use of God’s natural bounties with care and responsibility, our MSMEs will prove they are and will be a force to reckon with in the country’s economic upliftment and veritable tools for the enhancement of international relations.♦
Date of release: 08 November 2018