DTI urges Filipino businesses: Diversify your market, go global

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Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) advised Filipino businessmen to diversify their markets by engaging the global stage and taking advantage of growth opportunities with the country’s longtime trade partners like Japan.

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“Japan is consistently one of the strongest trade partners of the Philippines, with a total amount of exports of $10.7 billion from January to November 2016 alone,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said on February 14 during the Japan External Trade Organization (Jetro) Business Forum.

He also said that Japan is one of the country’s biggest sources of imports, accounting for $8.6 billion worth of imports from January to November 2016. Japanese investment in the Philippines continues to go up from $394 million in 2015, to $923 million from January to October 2016.

“The days wherein developing countries like the Philippines were primarily the recipient of foreign direct investments [FDIs] are in the past, and a country like ours can now become an investor to both developed and developing countries,” Lopez said, adding that in view of today’s economic integration, trade and investment flows should now work both ways.

He cited that a number of top Japanese companies have already invested and set up shops in the Philippines including Toshiba, Canon, Epson and Toyota.

Japanese companies related to electronics, manufacturing and shipbuilding industries have also established
presence in the country, he said. He noted that out of the country’s 348 economic zones, 30 percent of the companies operating in these areas are Japanese.

Meanwhile, Lopez identified some Philippine companies that have established commercial presence in Japan.

In the banking sector, these include the Philippine National Bank, Metrobank, LandBank and Banco de Oro while in the technology sector these include Imperium Technology, Ayala Systems Technology, Advanced World Systems, Alliance Software, WeServ Systems, and Integrated Micro-electronics Inc.-Japan.

Lopez also cited conglomerates such as Philippine Air Lines, ABS-CBN, and Ayala Land, as well as remittance companies that render service to Filipinos living in Japan.

“There are a number of business opportunities available to future local companies who want to invest in Japan in the future,” he said.

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