Geneva-based Japan Tobacco International announced over the weekend a plan to establish a global business service center in Manila to serve its markets in the Asia-Pacific region.
JTI did not mention the amount of investments but said the expansion would generate hundreds of employment opportunities for those who lost their jobs amid the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019.
“The Manila GBS Center becomes JTI’s third global hub after recently opening two similar centers in Warsaw, Poland and in St. Petersburg, Russia,” JTI said in a statement over the weekend.
“The GBS center will employ up to 350 people within the next three years, bringing the total number of JTI employees in the Philippines to 5,000 including those in a manufacturing plant in Batangas province,” it said.
The global tobacco company expects the facility, similar to its factory in Batangas, to help soften the recessionary impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It said the center would provide sophisticated solutions, consulting and analytics to satisfy complex operational challenges in the areas of finance, marketing and sales, people and culture, procurement, global supply chain and information technology.
The business center is expected to increase the operational efficiency of all JTI markets in the Asia Pacific region by streamlining activities, harmonizing business processes and sharing best-practices not only in the region but across the 130 countries the company operates in.
“We thank the government for allowing us to make significant strategic investments in the Philippines over recent years,” John Freda, general manager of JTI Philippines, said.
Freda said the establishment of the Manila GBS Center was proof of the company’s confidence in the Philippines market and evidence of its continuing commitment to create jobs in support of national development.
“We are pleased to add the GBS Center to our employment offerings in the Philippines further underpinning our commitment to helping the government in creating job opportunities in the country,” Freda said.
The country’s unemployment rate is predicted to climbe to 8 percent this year from 5.3 percent previously amid the pandemic with the economy projected to grow a shade below 1 percent.
JTI’s investment in its Manila GBS Center is the latest addition to a string of investments it made in the last three years.
JTI built a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Batangas in 2017 which generated new jobs and subsequently spent P50 billion to acquire the tobacco-related assets of Mighty Corp.
The Batangas factory, recognized by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority as a top employer, is currently undergoing further expansion of its facilities.
“With its hardworking, talented and English-proficient workforce coupled with a robust business processing industry, Manila is perfectly suited to take on this very important role,” said Akhtar Hannan, general manager of the GBS in Manila.
JTI Philippines manufactures and distributes the brands Winston, Camel, Mevius, Mighty and Marvels.
JTI is a leading international tobacco and vaping company with operations in more than 130 countries. It is the global owner of both Winston, the number two cigarette brand in the world, and Camel, outside the USA and has the largest share in sales for both brands.
Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, JTI employs over 45,000 people.