Filipino and Japanese companies are expected to sign more than 20 business agreements worth nearly P300 billion or $5 billion at the conclusion of the Philippine trade mission to Japan on May 30.
The business deals are also expected to generate at least 80,000 jobs in the Philippines, according to the Trade Department.
“The Department of Trade and Industry is consistently pursuing investments from all countries to provide decent employment opportunities to Filipinos. This is a part of the approach to nation-building and DTI’s priorities, summed up as Trabaho, Negosyo, Konsyumer,” said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez who will witness the signing of the business agreements.
The trade mission is a side event during President Rodrigo Duterte’s trip to Japan to attend Nikkei’s 25th International Conference on The Future of Asia on May 30 to 31.
The mission aims to secure not only investments but also Japan’s continued support for the Philippines.
Lopez said Japanese investors remained bullish on the sustained growth momentum of the Philippine economy, given its aggressive infrastructure build-up, meaningful investment and financial reforms and demographic advantages.
The investment pledges will be in the areas of infrastructure, manufacturing, electronics, medical devices, business process outsourcing, power, electricity, transport, automotive, food manufacturing, and marine manpower industries.
The Trade Department will also hold a business forum and roundtable discussions to have a closer dialogue with the Japanese investors and an opportunity for greater business-to-business interactions.
The Philippines will continue to push for substantive market access of Philippine products to the Japanese market through the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.
The Trade Department aims to wrap up the general review of the PJEPA in five to six months.
PJEPA has prime importance to move forward with the discussions on tariff preferences, particularly for products of interest to the Philippines such as bananas, mangoes, and pineapples.
PJEPA covers trade in goods, trade in services, investments, movement of natural persons, intellectual property, customs procedures, improvement of the business environment and government procurement.
Japan was the Philippines’ second largest trading partner in 2018 with total trade of $20 billion including $9.5 billion worth of exports to Japan and $10.5 billion worth of imports from Japan.
The country is the Philippines’ third major export market and import supplier.