10 trade deals eyed in Duterte’s Japan visit

Published May 16, 2019, 7:17 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Genalyn Kabiling

At least 10 investment deals involving Japanese and Filipino companies are expected to be sealed during President Duterte’s visit to Tokyo this month.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez (ALBERT ALCAIN/PPD / MANILA BULLETIN)
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez (ALBERT ALCAIN/PPD / MANILA BULLETIN)

According to Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, these private business ventures from Japan will focus on the areas of electronics, manufacturing, technology, energy, tourism, and transportation in the country.

Lopez could not yet give the amount of the upcoming business agreements but said it would likely be “substantial.”

“So far, we have two MOUs (memoranda of understanding) and eight letters of intent, in other words, companies that are already here that are intending to expand their operation, invest more, expand the operations,” he said in an interview with reporters at the Palace.

“These are big Japanese companies na we cannot also ignore, they still want to express their support and confidence for the current administration and they want to indicate their intent to invest more,” he said, adding the number of business deals may still increase.

President Duterte is scheduled to visit Japan mainly to attend the Future of Asia international conference organized by Nikkei later this month. The forum will take place on May 30 to 31.

Lopez said the President’s meetings with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Japanese business community are still being finalized.

He said they are arranging a business forum where the President can meet the officials of Japanese companies, especially those interested to invest in the country.

“We are just, of course, maximizing that trip, that visit, to include all these gains that we can get from that visit, kaya the usual discussions on talking to investors, meeting the business sector in Japan,” he said.

“Japan is our number 2 trading partner, so very important din na we sustain all these discussions,” he added.