PH-Japan ties bearing fruit – DTI’s Lopez

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OGAKI Kyoritsu Bank (OKB), the first Japanese regional bank in the Philippines secured a license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to operate as representative bank, initiated an investment forum on Wednesday.

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Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said, the forum gathered 140 Japanese companies, 30 percent of which are small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the largest mission from Japan this year.

Following the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the Philippines, there have been five missions to the country from both the Kanto and Kansai regions.

“With all these missions to the Philippines during the first two months of the year alone, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is confident that the Philippines is getting a growing and larger share of Japanese SMEs migration to other countries. This is important as Japanese SMEs with decades of specialized technology under their belts can contribute to value added manufacturing, tourism, agribusiness, deepening and expanding our invetories of products and services, closing gaps and completing loops in our supply chain,” Lopez said.

“We hope Ogaki Bank remains partners with the Philippine government in pushing the country’s growth agenda of sustaining the momentum of development for inclusive growth and shared prosperity for all Filipinos,” Lopez added.

OKB is headquartered in the Tokai region where most sizeable investors to the Philippines such as Ibiden, Toyota Motor Corp., and Brother Industries Ltd. are also located.

“The Philippines traversed different prefectures across Japan promoting trade and investment opportunities,” Lopez said, highlighting initial touchpoints in Tokai, a region with the highest concentration of Filipinos, as well as the base of major Japanese companies with sizeable investments in the Philippines.

With both the Kanto and Kansai sides of the Japanese peninsula deploying organized business delegations to the Philippines, DTI efforts in Japan are bearing fruit, the trade secretary said.

It will be the Philippines turn to conduct an investment mission to Tokyo on February 28 as economic officials from DTI, Japan External Trade Organization, Asean Japan Centre and Philippine Society Japan Inc., and Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee Inc.–Japan-Philippines Economic Cooperation Committee brief more Japanese investors.

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