Japanese bizmen urged to invest in Philippines
Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - October 1, 2015 - 3:20am

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) encouraged the Japanese business community to invest in the Philippines as the country’s economy expands and to establish positive trade relationships.

“Seize opportunities in the Philippines to create, wealth, generate jobs and improve the lives of our peoples,” DTI Undersecretary for Industry Development Adrian Cristobal Jr. said during the Philippine-Japan Business Investment Forum held in Tokyo last week.

“Now is the right time for our Japanese friends and partners to come and do business in the country, and for those all ready operating there, expand your business,” he added.

Cristobal enticed the Japanese business community by describing the country’s economy as “bright spot in the region.”

The DTI undersecretary also elaborated the benefits the Philippines gains from trade preferences from the world’s largest importing countries under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP.)

Late last year, the Philippines became a beneficiary to the European Union’s (EU) GSP-plus granting the country a duty-free access to two-thirds of tariff lines.

The United States (US) also reauthorized its GSP grant to the country last June since the authorization expired mid-2013. The reauthorization of GSP grant gave Philippines duty-free access to 3,500 US tariff lines.

Cristobal cited that among the Japanese firms which already took advantage of the preferences is Shimano, large Japanese bicycle manufacturer, which invested 3.5 billion yen to access the EU market through the Philippines.

“By setting up manufacturing facilities in the Philippines, Japanese companies may avail of the duty-free market access to the EU and the US, including products which are key export interests of Japan,” Cristobal added.

“We are in fact the only country in ASEAN to enjoy this preferential treatment,” Cristobal said. “In addition to these product categories, exporters in footwear and textile, preserved fruits, pineapple juice, jams and jelly who are targeting the European market may find a wealth of opportunity in the Philippines’ GSP+ status,” he added.

DTI said the government also seeks to uphold the competitiveness of its automotive industry to seize bigger share of the regional automotive manufacturing industry in the near future and to keep up with the growing market.

To enhance the automotive industry, Cristobal met with the car and car parts manufacturers to discuss to them the country’s Manufacturing Resurgence Program (MRP) and the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program. 

The CARS program covering motor vehicle production, auto parts manufacturing and shared services and testing facilities currently produces estimated 80,000 to 90,000 units annually. It still aims to increase its production to a competitive scale of 200,000 yearly. 

ACIRC COMPREHENSIVE AUTOMOTIVE RESURGENCE STRATEGY COUNTRY CRISTOBAL DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY EUROPEAN UNION GENERALIZED SYSTEM OF PREFERENCES INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT ADRIAN CRISTOBAL JR. MANUFACTURING RESURGENCE PROGRAM PHILIPPINE-JAPAN BUSINESS INVESTMENT FORUM PHILIPPINES
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