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TOKYO – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez kickstarted the agency’s business mission to Japan on 11 March 2019 with a dialogue with Terumo (Philippines) Corporation President Toshiyuki Akihata. The Secretary also discussed expansion plans and training opportunities for Filipino engineers.

Terumo conveyed their plans of developing new products that would be manufactured in the Philippines (PH) and would cater to both domestic and export markets. The company-- which has facilities at the Laguna Technopark, in Biñan and engages in manufacturing, selling, and exporting medical devices such as disposable syringe, needles, IV catheter and urinary drainage bag worldwide -- also plans to increase the IV catheter production capacity and transfer its operations from Japan to PH.

Sec. Lopez assured the company executives that PH welcomes investors and foreign businesses that wish to expand their operations in the country and to provide jobs to Filipinos.

DTI and the Philippine government will be ready for any assistance and support Terumo needs in their expansion and ensure continuity of their business in the country,” said Sec. Lopez.

The discussion also covered government interventions and support in easing the process of sending Filipino workers to Japan for technical trainings.

 “We have a large pool of talent and skilled workers in the Philippines. Providing technical trainings for our Filipino engineers promotes competitiveness and will mutual benefit the company and its employees. In fact, we encourage educational institutions to align their modules and teachings to the need of the companies so our young people will be equipped once they join the workforce,” the trade chief added.

Mr. Akihata expressed his appreciation for Filipino workers and described them as “open-minded”. The company executive revealed that out of 3,000 employees in their facility in Laguna, only 12 are Japanese and the rest are Filipino engineers and associates. Currently, 15 of their Filipino engineers are in Japan for training.

Meanwhile, the trade chief also discussed key features and highlights of the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and Higher Quality Opportunities (TRABAHO) Bill with the Japanese executives. He emphasized that the tax reform offers more competitive, performance-based, and time-bound incentive packages and underscored that every new project will be treated as new investment. He also assured that the government shall ensure a smoother transition period.

Terumo Philippines executives, including an official from their head office in Japan, expressed their appreciation to DTI and the Board of Investments (BOI) for providing comprehensive information on the tax reform as well as actively engaging with investors.

Present during the meeting were DTI Undersecretary Rowel Barba, Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC)-Tokyo Commercial Counsellor Ma. Bernardita Mathay, Terumo Corporation Production Department Adviser Akihiko Umeda, and Terumo Philippines Director Takanori Takeuchi.♦

Date of Release: 15 March 2019

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