Philippines, Japan to address issues affecting Japanese businesses
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - January 25, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines and Japan have agreed to address and reduce issues affecting Japanese businesses with operations here. 

According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), during the ninth meeting of the Sub-Committee on the Improvement of Business Environment under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) held on Friday, both sides agreed to continue efforts in reducing outstanding issues before the next meeting through continuous dialogues with business communities. 

“These dialogues are important in attracting more Japanese investments into the Philippines,” the DTI said. 

Among the outstanding issues of Japanese businesses here are the auto industry incentives, the retroactive value-added tax refund procedures, the power supply situation for this year and the current state of Manila’s ports.

Apart from discussions on outstanding issues affecting Japanese businesses, a review was also undertaken on items discussed during the previous meeting such as the harmonization of national tax incentives and local taxes, application procedures of reduced tax rates under the bilateral tax treaty, taxes on foreign maritime transport services, additional surcharges introduced by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, promotion measures for utilization of the Batangas and Subic ports, and moves to establish the Philippines as a human resource development hub.

The meeting, co-chaired by Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhide Ishikawa and Trade Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal, Jr., was attended by representatives from various Philippine government agencies, as well as the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Japan External Trade Organization and Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

The meeting was likewise attended by the private sector with Japanese businesses represented by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines president Yoshio Amano, while the Philippine side had as representative National Competitiveness Council program officer Jake Ogana.

The meeting of the sub-committee on the Improvement of Business Environment is held twice every year for the public and private sectors of Japan and the Philippines to discuss specific issues that would ensure transparent, predictable and consistent business environment. 

The next meeting of the sub-committee would held later this year.

The JPEPA, which entered into force in December 2008, seeks to enhance the economic ties of Japan and the Philippines. 

Since the bilateral agreement came into effect, trade between the two countries has increased significantly.

Japan is also among the major sources of investments of the Philippines.

BATANGAS AND SUBIC DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY EMBASSY OF JAPAN IMPROVEMENT OF BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION JAKE OGANA JAPAN JAPAN AND THE PHILIPPINES JAPAN EXTERNAL TRADE ORGANIZATION AND JAPAN BANK JAPAN INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGENCY PHILIPPINES
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