MAKATI CITY— Strengthening the economic cooperation between the Philippines and Osaka business community, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary and Board of Investments (BOI) Chairman Alfredo E. Pascual received the delegation of the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) in a courtesy call to the DTI Secretary led by its Chairperson, Mr. Shingo Torii on February 19, 2024.

“The Philippine government stands ready to provide unwavering support, ensuring the growth of your businesses within our borders and facilitating access to key markets not only domestically but also across the region and the globe,” said Secretary Pascual, as he expressed his gratitude to the officials of OCCI for visiting Manila, highlighting the unceasing economic relationship between the Philippines and Osaka, Japan.

The courtesy call of the OCCI officials on came after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding and launch of its ASEAN-Japan Business Promotion Platform with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), and showcases the Philippines as an attractive investment destination for Japanese companies aimed at fostering collaborative efforts for mutual economic growth.

Making it happen with OCCI: Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual (sixth from left) met with the officials of the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), led by its chairperson, Mr. Shingo Torii (fifth from left), at the BOI Main Office in Makati City on Feb. 19, 2024.
With them were the following officials (L-R): Mr. Negoro Takayoshi, Director of the International Division of OCCI; Commercial Counselor Michael Alfred V. Ignacio, PTIC Osaka; Mr. Iuchi Setsuo, President of OCCI; Mr. Higashi Kazuhiro, Vice-Chair of OCCI; Mr. Torii, Secretary Pascual, DTI Undersecretary Ana Carolina P. Sanchez, Executive Director Evariste M. Cagatan, Investment Promotions Services (IPS) of the Board of Investments (BOI), Executive Director Ma. Corazon Halili-Dichosa, Industry Development Services (IDS) of the BOI; and Executive Director Althea Karen P. Antonio, DTI’s Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC).

“We are very happy that you are here to foster a long-standing partnership between your chamber and the Philippines. We hope to be able to promote the Philippines as an important investment destination for Japanese firms,” Secretary Pascual told the OCCI officials.

With the government’s economic policies, Secretary Pascual underscored the spike of significant interest by Japanese firms to invest in the Philippines and expand their operations, particularly for the manufacturing companies to bring supply chain participants to complete the ecosystem for the manufacturing of Japanese products.

“We are optimistic about the future with our Japanese partners participating in the industrialization process. I’d like to reaffirm the commitment of the government for an inclusive business environment, particularly for foreign investments,” the Secretary added. 

Boosting trade ties between Osaka and the Philippines: Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual (left) with Mr. Shingo Torii, Chairperson of OCCI, (right).

Mr. Shingo Torii, Chairperson of OCCI and also serving as Vice Chairman of his family’s Suntory Holdings Limited, lauded the government’s efforts to bolster the interest of foreign investors. He specifically emphasized the importance of prioritizing discussions concerning the expanding startup sector in the Philippines.

A solid partner of the DTI, OCCI aims to enhance the participation of Osaka-based companies in the Philippine manufacturing sector and its supply chain. Some of the notable Osaka-based companies operating in the Philippines are Showa Spring Co. Ltd, OB Kogyo, Ltd., Nipro Corporation, Sharp Corporation, and Panasonic Corporation, which are into manufacturing and/or sales of pressed component parts, precision plastic parts, medical, glass, pharmaceutical, and consumer electronic products.

Trade Undersecretary Ana Carolina P. Sanchez, meanwhile, told the delegates that the Philippines is looking forward to engaging more small and medium enterprises from Japan for further success stories about investing in the Philippines.

The business mission, facilitated by the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Osaka, commenced with an official engagement between OCCI and PCCI, where the Philippine desk of the ASEAN-Japan Business Promotion Platform was launched through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding.

The business platform will foster economic partnerships with ASEAN countries, including the Philippines, arising from the recognition of the increasing necessity for reciprocal collaboration between ASEAN and Japan in various business domains such as trade, investment, and technical cooperation.

Further to their Philippine mission, the OCCI delegation also participated in a company briefing, site visit and factory tour at Fastech Synergy Philippines, Inc., aimed at promoting business matching engagements between Japanese and Philippine companies.

This series of engagements, organized by PTIC Osaka for the top-ranking OCCI Delegation, aligns with the mandate of the DTI/BOI to generate investments and increase the participation of Japanese companies in the Philippine manufacturing supply chain and industrial ecosystem.

Established in August 1878, OCCI is one of the three major economic organizations representing the Osaka-Kansai region, boasting 31,475 member companies, organizations and associations. With five branches in Osaka City, its mission is to contribute to the realization of a revitalized economic society, reconversion of industrial structure, enhancement of international competitiveness, renovated business management by their members, and the creation of business opportunities. ♦

Date of release: 29 February 2024