By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
TOKYO, Japan — President Duterte thanked Japanese businessmen for their intention to expand operations in the Philippines as the two countries inked 26 business deals worth $5.5 billion Wednesday.
Speaking before members of the Filipino and Japanese business delegation, Duterte thanked Japan for signing business deals with the Philippines, saying he took it as a vote of confidence in the Philippines’ bright economic prospects.
“I am pleased to know about your strong intention to invest and expand business operations in the new sectors of Philippine economy,” he said.
The President in turn assured Japanese businessmen a competitive and corruption-free business climate, and a highly-skilled and fast-learning workforce.
“I place my honor in what we promised to our partners especially the Japanese and the Japanese people,” he said.
“We are firmly committed to maintain a stable and predictable environment for robust business partnerships between the Philippines and Japan,” he added.
“More than Build-Build-Build, let us work together to Grow-Grow-Grow our economies,” he continued.
Duterte then reiterated that there will be no corruption under his watch and urged Japanese businessmen to report to him immediately if they encounter such while they are doing business in the country.
“Every Japanese investor in my country however small, however big, I can assure you that if there’s any complaint regarding hindrances, obstruction or outright corruption, let me know,” he said.
“I will give you at any hour of the day or night you can contact any of the Cabinet members or your Filipino lawyers or Filipino workers, and you can ask an audience with me in 24 hours and I will talk to you and just let me know what your problem is and we will kill that problem,” he added.
According to Duterte, Japan has been a major source of foreign direct investments and a key trading partner of the Philippines.
The President also said the Philippine government anticipates increased trade and investment flows because of the strong momentum generated by decades of deep economic cooperation.
“This will be sustained by our natural economic complementarities and accelerated by current efforts of our governments to lower barriers,” Duterte said.
He also noted that the Philippine government is also reviewing and hoping to upgrade the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (PJEPA) signed in 2006 to a higher level of preferential arrangement that is mutually beneficial to our countries.
The Philippines, he said has been working with Japan to address the issue of economic market access for Philippine agricultural products, and to improve the current framework for the deployment of nurses and care health workers and adopt a framework for mutual recognition and understanding.
Duterte also invited the Japanese to participate in the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program which seeks to build inclusive and innovative industries and transform the country’s economic archipelago into one of an integrated economic space.
Business deals signed
According to Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, a total of 26 business deals were signed between the Philippines and Japan just before Duterte addressed the Japanese businessmen.
The total estimated investment value is $5.5 billion or P288.804 billion. It is expected to generate 82, 737 jobs.
List of deals
1) Memorandum of Cooperation between the Department of Trade and Industry and Japan External Trade Organization to enhance bilateral cooperation on investment promotion activities between the Philippines and Japan
2) Memorandum of Understanding to partner in skills training and human resource development and deployment, manufacturing, and assembly
3) Memorandum of Understanding on the utsourcing of projects involving software development, testing, and maintenance in the following areas: 1) R&D on Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Automation, Internet of Things, 2) Enterprise Systems and Web Applications Development, 3) Automotive Software Development, 4) Embedded Systems Development, 5) Mobile Systems Development, and 6) Product Quality Assurance and Testing
4) Joint Venture Agreement: Bases Conversion and Development Authority and Meralco Marubeni Consortium (financing, design, engineering, establishment, construction, development, and operation and maintenance of the electric power distribution system in New Clark City).
5) Master Franchise Agreement in the grant of development rights for the “Dohtonbori Okonomiyaki” restaurant business within the Philippines
6) Franchise Agreement to open and operate Karayama outlets within the Philippines
7) Memorandum of Understanding between Asia Defense and Armament Corp., Kenko Tokina Co., Ltd. and Diversified Ecozone Corporation to establish a manufacturing facility in the Philippines for optics equipment, injection molded holsters, and related equipment to supply customized equipment for the AFP, PNP, and other defense units of the Philippine Government
8) Letter of Intent: Toyota Motor Corporation (Additional investments for further parts localization under the CARS Program, including side member panels, radiator assy, fan assy with motor, and FR axle assy)
9) Letter of Intent: Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Expand manufacturing capacity of the Philippine Manufacturing Co. of Murata Inc. (PMM) to service demands of existing customers, accommodate new customers, and anticipate increase in sales of multilayer ceramic capacitors.
10) Letter of Intent: Aeon Fantasy Co. Ltd. (Increase investments in the country for indoor theme parks and amusement facilities through the local subsidiary)
11) Letter of Intent: Sojitz Corporation (Sojitz FUSO Truck) (Expand investments in the distribution of FUSO truck and bus products through the local subsidiary)
12) Letter of Intent: Sojitz Corporation (Bakery Project) (Invest in bakery company (Nippon Premium Bakery Inc.) and the upstream business through flour milling and other ancillary services.
13) Letter of Intent: Sojitz Corporation (Industrial Estate Project) (Co-development of a general industrial park)
14) Letter of Intent: JACCS Co. Ltd. (Invest in the credit and finance business by extending credit facilities to individual and corporate buyers)
15) Letter of Intent: Terumo Corporation (Expand investments in manufacturing, selling, and exporting medical devices (disposable syringes, needles, safety-needles, IV catheters, and urinary drainage bags) and the development of new products and new technologies in sterilization capability and eco- and smart factories)
16) Letter of Intent: Ibiden Co. Ltd. (Expand existing investments in the manufacture of Flip Chip Ball Grid Array (FC-BGA) products, as well as capacity to cater to new drivers of growth such as artificial intelligence and establishment of data centers)
17) Letter of Intent: Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. (Build a new facility for wiring harness and related products for export to Japan and North America)
18) Letter of Intent: Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Develop the Philippine automotive industry through a local partner (GT Capital Holdings, Inc.)
19) Letter of Intent: Marubeni Corporation (Develop possible new and existing infrastructure projects in energy development, New Clark City, railways, and water services)
20) Letter of Intent: Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. (Expand the production capacity of the local wholly-owned center for wire harnesses)
21) Letter of Intent: Lawson, Inc.(Expand investments through the opening of additional convenience stores)
22) Letter of Intent: Japan Marine United Corporation and Marubeni Corporation (Develop the country’s maritime safety capability by providing maritime expertise, including but not limited to the service of design and construction of ships)
23) Letter of Intent: Canon Inc.(Expand existing investments in the Philippines for monochrome laser beam printers, including service parts, packaging materials, and optional products)
24) Letter of Intent: Nidec Corporation (Expand current investments in the Philippines as manufacturer of hard disk drives, spindle motors, and related parts)
25) Letter of Intent: Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (Expand current investments to support local production of completed vehicles)
26) Letter of Intent: Tokyo Gas (Create an inter-island liquefied natural gas (LNG) distribution network to serve new markets for natural gas in the Philippines)