Following the successful state visits of President Duterte in Japan and Prime Minister Abe in the Philippines, Japanese bank Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank (OKB) initiated an investment forum in the Philippines recently (22, February) OKB is the first Japanese regional bank in the Philippines to successfully secure a license to operate as representative bank from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) during their anniversary celebration.

According to Lopez, the forum gathered 140 Japanese companies, 30 percent of which are SMEs, the largest mission to date from Japan this year. Following the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the Philippines, there have been five missions to the country both from Kanto and Kansai regions. “With all these missions to the Philippines at the first two months of the year alone, DTI is confident that the Philippines is getting a growing and larger share of the migration of Japanese SMEs to other countries. This is important as Japanese SMEs with decades of specialized technology under their belts can contribute to value added manufacturing, tourism, agribusiness, deepening and expanding our invetories of products and services, closing gaps and completing loops in our supply chain”.

“We hope Ogaki Bank remains partners with the Philippine government in pushing the country’s growth agenda of sustaining the momentum of development for inclusive growth and shared prosperity for all Filipinos,” said Sec. Lopez.

OKB is headquartered in the Tokai region where most sizeable investors to the Philippines such as Ibiden, Toyota Motor Corporation, and Brother Industries Limited are also from.

“The Philippines traversed different prefectures across Japan promoting trade and investment opportunities,” said Sec. Lopez, highlighting initial touchpoints in Tokai, a region with the highest concentration of Filipinos, as well as the base of major Japanese companies with sizeable investments in the Philippines.

With both the Kanto and Kansai sides of the Japanese peninsula deploying organized business delegations in the Philippines, DTI efforts in Japan are bearing fruit, according to the trade chief.

Prior to this forum, Secretary Lopez also delivered his keynote speech at the Bank of Tokyo MUFJ and Security Bank‘s first business matching forum which concluded over 200 business matching meetings.

It will be the Philippines turn to conduct an investment mission to Tokyo on February 28 as economic officials from DTI, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), ASEAN Japan Centre (AJC) and Philippine Society Japan Inc., and Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee, Inc. (PHILJECC) – Japan-Philippines Economic Cooperation Committee (JPECC) brief more Japanese investors.

 DTI in OKB Forum

DTI in Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank (OKB) Forum: In the picture are Secretary Ramon Lopez (center left), Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Kazuhide Ishikawa (2nd from center L), OKB President Tsuchiya Takashi (center right), BSP Monetary Board Member Valentin Araneta (3rd from center R), Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company President Fabian Dee Mizuho (2nd from center R).