Japanese businessmen continue to show keen interest in further investing in the country as a 29-man delegation, composed of companies in the fields of manufacturing and services industries, was in the Philippines for a four-day mission to explore investment opportunities.

Led by Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) executive vice president Tatsuhiro Shindo, the Japanese delegation paid a courtesy call to Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) Secretary Adrian Cristobal Jr. and attended an Investment Briefing with the Board of Investments (BOI) recently

DSC_0123DTI Secretary Adrian Cristobal Jr. (fourth from left) and Japan External Trade Organization executive vice president Tatsuhiro Shindo (fifth from left) with DTI Undersecretary for industry promotion Nora Terrado (fourth from right) with the rest of the 29-man JETRO delegation during the courtesy call and investment briefing with the BOI.

Secretary Cristobal welcomed and expressed his gratitude to the JETRO delegation. He said that when President Aquino visited Tokyo last June 2015 and met JETRO Chairman Hiroyuki Ishige, the latter proposed several steps to promote our trade and investment relations with Japan. JETRO, so far, has delivered the first step – dispatching a very important business delegation to the Philippines.

Secretary Cristobal said the Japanese delegation’s visit is timely as the government is now working on revving up the resurgence of the Philippine manufacturing sector through its Manufacturing Resurgence.

Program (MRP) which aims to rebuild the existing capacity of industries, strengthen new ones, and maintain the competitiveness of industries with comparative advantage.

Secretary Cristobal also cited the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program, a subsumed program under the MRP, which provides a comprehensive package of fiscal and nonfiscal incentives. The government is allocating PhP 27 billion fiscal support for the next six years for investments in the manufacture of automotive whole body large plastic parts, other strategic parts that are not currently produced locally, and provides variable incentives to induce both volume production and logistics efficiency.

The Trade Secretary also assured the Japanese delegates and JETRO of the agency’s continuing support and assistance to their business endeavors. “Our investment promotion offices led by the BOI, the Foreign Trade Service Corps, and our Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Tokyo are more than ready to provide assistance to Japanese companies who would want to set up shop or expand their operations in the country,” he said.

For her part, DTI Undersecretary for industry promotion Nora Terrado expressed her admiration to Japan’s strong leadership, Abenomics, and its desire in increasing gender diversity, where women are encouraged to participate in the government, business and other areas. She personally conveyed her gratitude to the Mayor of Yokohama who visited the Philippines and participated in the APEC 2015 Women and the Economy Fora. She mentioned that Yokohama and Manila are sister cities, and cited such valuable connection as an indication of another dimension of friendship between the Philippines and Japan.

During the investment briefing, BOI Director for International Investments Promotion Service Angelica Cayas also presented before the Japanese delegates the Philippine advantage, showcasing the competitive reasons why Philippines is the investment destination of choice. This was followed by BOI Director for Manufacturing Industries Service Evariste Cagatan who presented an overview of the Philippine manufacturing industry.

Japan remains as the country’s second top performing investment partner, with investment commitments amounting to US$338.88 million or 14.3 percent of the total Investment Promotion Agency (IPA)-approved foreign investments from the January to September 2015 period. In 2014, Japan was the country’s top source of IPA-approved foreign investment with pledges amounting to US$803.24 million. (END)