By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
An estimated $215 million-worth of investments have been committed by Japanese companies.
These investment commitments were generated at the recent Philippines-Japan Business Investment Forum which conducted eight investment meetings organized by Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) – Tokyo.
DTI Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba and various Japanese firms discussed business opportunities that resulted in new investment plans for the Philippines.
These investment intentions — covering infrastructure development, railways, Electric Vehicle (EV) public transport systems, retail, manufacturing, logistics, warehousing, factory automation, construction, and real estate industries– were presented and discussed with Aldaba and Commercial Counsellor Dita Angara-Mathay.
The investment projects include the opening of PH’s first MOS Burger, Japan’s second largest burger chain, in March 2020; Assemblepoint Co., Ltd’s interest to develop smart 4WEV (4-wheel EV) using the latest IOT technologies; Japanese anime studio Satelight’s intention to outsource animation work in PH; as well as Kanepackage’s new factory facility.
Sumitomo Wiring also presented their two expansion projects in wire harness and components manufacturing. Marubeni Corporation likewise shared their joint venture project with Metro Pacific and LSI to build 30 primary care clinics, 10 cancer centers, and install five centralized laboratory testing hubs in strategic cities.
“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,” said Aldaba.
“We will try to reach out to more Japanese companies specializing in among others, electrified vehicles & 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 (AI),” said Angara-Mathay.
During the investment peomotion, the DTI highlighted the Philippine government’s new industrial policy that will push for innovation as it strengthens PH-Japan trade and investment relations.
Also, at the Nikkei BP Publications’ PH-Japan Business Investment Forum, Aldaba discussed the country’s Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy (i3S) and the areas that both PH and Japan can collaborate under this policy.
“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,” said Aldaba to over 600 members of the Japanese business community.
“i3S puts innovation at the heart of our industrial policies. Our goal is to grow globally competitive and innovative industries,” she added.
The Undersecretary underscored Philippines’ drive to develop its innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem through strong collaboration between and among government, academe, and industry; utilize new technologies to make the country’s industries more competitive; reduce barriers in investments; and link manufacturing with agriculture and industry to expand PH’s global value chain participation.
“With Japan and the Philippines sharing complementing natural and human resources, technology and innovation will play a key role in helping us achieve the full potential of our economic partnership with Japan,” said Angara-Mathay.