MANILA -- The Philippines and Japan signed fresh business deals worth USD6 billion following the visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Tokyo from Oct. 29 to 31, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez shared to Manila-based reporters in a text message.

In a text message to reporters, Lopez, who accompanied Pres. Duterte in his second visit to Japan, said these commitments came from 18 business deals involving new investments and joint ventures between Manila and Tokyo.

“PRRD met several Japanese companies and witnessed several business-to-business memoranda of understanding and letters of intent on investment plans, joint ventures, and expansion of operations in the Philippines,” he said.

The trade chief mentioned that the USD6-billion business deals will be invested in sectors of manufacturing, particularly shipbuilding and iron and steel; agribusiness; power, particularly renewable energy; information and communications technology and IT-business process outsourcing; retail; transportation; and infrastructure.

“All these show confidence on President Duterte's administration,” Lopez noted.

Six companies presented their letters of intent to Lopez including Marubeni Corp., Itochu Corp., Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd., Teihiyo Cement Corp., Tsuneishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., Japan Tobacco, Inc., and Lawson Inc.

Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., also submitted their LOI of doing business in Philippines to Lopez and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, while Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III received the LOI of Japan Tobaco, Inc.

Bases Conversion and Development Authority also got LOI from Hitachi Asia while Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority had LOIs from Subic Smart Community Corp and List Co. Ltd.

Business deals between private sector of Japan and the Philippines include the following:

  • Ubicon Holdings, Inc. and Advanced World Solutions, Inc. with Alsons/AWS Information System, Inc.;
  • Densan System Co. Ltd. and CIS Bayad Center;
  • Hitachi Ltd. and Manila Electric Company;
  • List Co., Ltd., and Newcoast Southbeach Realty;
  • Nomura Real Estate Development Co., Ltd. and Federal Land, Inc.;
  • Yamato Kogyo and SteelAsia Manufcaturing Corp.; and
  • Itochu Corp. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp.

During the first visit of President Duterte in Tokyo last year, the Philippines and Japan signed financial deals reaching USD19 billion.

Moreover, Lopez also had bilateral meeting with Japanese Trade and Industry Ministers Hiroshige Seko, in which they had discussions on boosting economic ties between the Philippines and Japan.

“[We] discussed improving market access and lowering tariff for our agricultural products such banana, pineapple, and mango,” he said, adding that they also had talks on Industrial Cooperation Dialogue as well as expanding supply chain of Japanese companies in the country and partner with Filipino small and medium enterprises.

Lopez added that the Philippines, as chairman of this year’s ASEAN Summit, has secured Japan’s support to reach substantial conclusion of the ASEAN-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. (PNA)