Japanese firms bare $215 million investments in Philippine retail, EV, manufacturing sectors
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - November 6, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA,Philippines — Japanese firms are planning to invest $215 million in various sectors including retail, electric vehicles (EVs) and manufacturing in the country, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

In a statement, DTI said the investment plans were bared during the recent investment meetings attended by Trade Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba and Japanese firms, and arranged by the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) Tokyo on the sidelines of the recent Philippines-Japan Business Investment Forum.

“A total of $215 million worth of investment projects to Philippines was reported following these meetings,” DTI said.

Among the investment projects discussed during the meeting is the opening of the first MOS Burger in the Philippines by March next year.

MOS Burger is the second biggest burger chain in Japan.

Also discussed during the investment meeting is the plan of Assemblepoint Co. Ltd. to develop smart four-wheel EVs using the latest Internet-of-Things technologies.

In addition, Japanese anime studio Satelight intends to outsource animation work in the country, while packaging firm Kanepackage is planning to put up a new factory.

During the investment meetings, Sumitomo Wiring presented two expansion projects in wire harness and components manufacturing in the country.

Marubeni Corp. likewise shared its joint venture project with the Metro Pacific Group and Japanese healthcare firm LSI to build 30 primary care clinics, 10 cancer centers, as well as put up five centralized laboratory testing hubs in strategic cities.

During the forum attended by over 600 members of the Japanese community, Aldaba discussed the government’s push for innovation to promote stronger trade and investment ties with Japan.

“There are many potential opportunities for the Philippines and Japan to deepen trade and investment partnership through innovation. I am delighted that the companies I met during this trip are making significant contributions in the areas of creating new industries, products and leapfrogging to Industry 4.0 by adopting smart manufacturing to transform our industries,” she said.

Through the country’s Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy, the government aims to have globally competitive and innovative industries.

“In the context of these trade and investment trends between the Philippines and Japan along with global developments such as the entry of new technologies, we feel the need to focus our efforts on innovation to address the opportunities and challenges arising from Industry 4.0, but also from increasing global competition, US-China trade war, and regional economic integration,” Aldaba said.

For her part, PTIC – Tokyo commercial counsellor Dita Angara Mathay said technology and innovation would play an important role in meeting the full potential of the two countries’ economic partnership.

“We will try to reach out to more Japanese companies specializing in among others, electrified vehicles and parts, advanced manufacturing, factory automation, mobility solutions and smart cities. Philippine startups are also seen as future drivers of innovation. More learning missions to Japan will be organized to facilitate new learnings on and establish key connections with holders of new technologies like artificial intelligence,” she said.

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