His Excellency, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.; Philippine Ambassador Mylene Albano; fellow members of the Cabinet; colleagues in government; and our business partners from Japan and the Philippines—a pleasant morning to all.

This visit affirms and strengthens the robust economic ties between the Philippines and Japan. In 2021, Japan was the Philippines’ second major trading partner, third export market, and second import supplier. It is also our second largest source of foreign direct investments in the same year; while top one source from January to October of 2022.

As of September 2022, about 900 Japanese enterprises are hosted in our economic zones, infusing over 12 millon US Dollars in investments. For the first nine months of 2022, they alone generated more than USD13billion in export income, and created over 350,000 direct jobs for Filipinos.

We lead in economic recovery and performance in the whole world. By the end of 2022, we had the fastest growth in over 40 years. Our annual growth rate of 7.6% beat government targets and independent forecasts of 6.5 to 7.5%.

Our roundtable meeting this morning seeks expanded cooperation with the Japanese companies present this morning. For 2021, Philippine exports to Japan grew by almost 7%. This growth is due mostly to the increased exports of ignition wiring sets and digital

monolithic integrated circuits. Also in 2021, Philippine imports from Japan rose by almost 30%. Again, the increase in importation was due to electronic products.

In addition to semiconductors and electronics, Japan plays a big role in our exports of wiring harness and office peripherals.

With demand expected to grow in the global market, we would like to explore how we can encourage you to expand and upgrade your operations on our shores. Let us discuss how we can do this and make your investments happen in the Philippines.

Thank you. *

Date of release: 11 February 2023