Japanese investments to fuel manufacturing resurgence â DTI
Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez is joined by Honeylet Avanceña and trade officials during a business matching session held as a part of President Duterte’s visit to Japan last week. The event linked Japanese and Filipino companies for possible partnerships and joint ventures.
Japanese investments to fuel manufacturing resurgence — DTI
(The Philippine Star) - June 3, 2019 - 12:00am

TOKYO – The recently signed Japanese investments will fuel the Philippines’ manufacturing resurgence, highly placed sources have said.

Of 26 agreements, 19 are letters of intent (LOI) that have a high rate of materialization and are in manufacturing cars, wire harness, printers, medical devices and electronics, according to Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez.

With President Duterte was partner Honeylet Avanceña who led the investment forum and business matching sessions during the Japan visit last week. 

“These investments will help expand our manufacturing base and increase our high-value exports. More importantly, these companies will employ thousands of Filipinos and help them better the quality of their lives,” said Lopez. 

DTI Special Trade Representative (STR) in Tokyo Dita Angara-Mathay said that with these investments, the Philippines will become an emerging manufacturing hub for printers, medical devices and wire harnessing.

The signed agreements include an LOI from Canon to expand its existing investments in the Philippines for monochrome laser printers including service parts, packaging materials, and optional products. For medical devices, Terumo Corp. signed an LOI to expand investments in manufacturing, sales and export of medical devices (i.e. disposable syringes, needles, safety-needles, IV catheters and urinary drainage bags). 

Furukawa Electric Corp. and Sumitomo Electric Industries likewise signed LOIs to expand their wire harness facilities in the Philippines. Moreover, Furukawa will expand production capacity of wholly owned centers for wire harnesses. Meanwhile, Sumitomo will build a new facility for wiring harness and related products for export to Japan and North America. 

To train future manufacturing managers, Japanese companies Tescom Denki and Outsourcing Inc. signed an MOU with Filipino electronic and semiconductor subcontractor company EMS Group to send at least 3,000 skilled workers to Japan for training and work experience. These workers include engineers, IT professionals, and others. STR Angara-Mathay said that this program will fill the gap of manufacturing managers in the Philippines. 

DTI also sought out new investments through a business matching session with a diverse group of businesses, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Assistant Secretary Angelo Taningco gave welcome remarks and briefly discussed the Philippine macro economic growth story.

Board of Investments director Angie Cayas and DTI-Bureau of Export Trade Promotions assistant director Anthony Rivera gave their respective presentations on opportunities in manufacturing and services sectors.   

DTI reported that the session generated 120 formal meetings, 56 informal meetings, one potential MOU, and $17.45 million in estimated business leads and potential sales to be realized in one to three years. Some Japanese companies expressed interest for collaboration on fintech and AI.

Beyond manufacturing, Japanese firms also committed to invest in public and mass transport, defense, energy, power distribution, financing food and retail.

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