TOKYO, JAPAN — The business matching event held during President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s official working visit to Tokyo, Japan in February 2023 generated USD 620.72 million and USD 22.67 million in trade and investment leads, respectively, based on the submitted reports of the private sector participants.  

Companies from manufacturing, construction and infrastructure, real estate, communication and information technology, energy, and other fields participated in the event. About 600 business meetings were set up, and 118 companies from the Philippines and 597 companies from Japan signed up for the event.   

The activity is part of the ongoing initiatives of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) field office in Japan led by Commercial Counselor Dita Angara-Mathay, to strengthen the Philippines’ and Japan’s economic relations as well as collaboration between the government and the private sector in the promotion of Philippine products and services. Key supporters of the initiative included the Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC) Coordinating Office, the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), and the ASEAN – Japan Centre (AJC). 

“There is evidently a growing momentum in the Philippines and Japan trade and investment relations. During the business matching event, which to date is the largest in the history of presidential trips overseas, both government and the private sector acknowledged that there are rising opportunities for economic engagement in areas that are critical to national priorities. In order to pursue our strategy of investment led export growth, we need to actively seek out platforms that promote exchange between our expanding networks,” PTIC-Tokyo Commercial Counsellor Dita Angara-Mathay said.  

The business matching event is anchored on the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028, which aims to promote trade and investments by restoring, sustaining, and strengthening the Philippine export sector’s global position, as well as by enhancing trade, upgrading skills, and addressing sustainability by increasing investments.   

Apart from the business matching activity, PTIC-Tokyo planned a full schedule for the members of the President’s official business delegation during his working visit to Japan. This included a site visit to Japan’s manufacturer of the world’s smallest compact satellite in orbit, participation in the signing and exchange of business agreements whose total project value amounted to USD 13 billion, the largest business forum that attracted close to 800 attendees and two major networking activities with portfolio and foreign direct investors, all with the end goal of continuing and cementing dynamic bilateral relations of the Philippines and Japan.   

The Philippines has the potential to increase its exports by USD 49 billion, according to the International Trade Centre (ITC) study. The study further stated that the most important market region with opportunities for Philippine export growth is East Asia.  

In 2022, the bilateral trade between the Philippines and Japan was valued at USD 23,478.25 million. Based on Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data, Japan ranked as the Philippines’: 2nd trading partner (out of PH’s 230); 2nd  export market (out of 210); and 3rd   import supplier (out of 216 PH’s suppliers).*

Date of release: 15 March 2023