Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte recently arrived home from a fruitful 3-day working visit to Japan with a huge “pasalubong” for the whole country.
With his efforts, his trip was able to yield an investment amounting to $1.85 billion from 12 major Japanese companies which is expected to bring thousands of new jobs in the near future.
In an interview with Kyodo News, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Nora Terrado said “The fresh commitments may generate between 200,000 to 250,000 direct and indirect jobs over the coming years.”
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez also specified that the investments, expressed through memorandums of understanding and letters of intent, are in many different sectors including automotive, egg-laying technology, optical imagery, biofuel fields, and others.
“We look up to Japan as a very good partner on all fronts — official development assistance, trade, and investments,” emphasized Lopez.
Lopez further added, “Sa biyahe na ‘to sa Japan visit, natutuwa kami dahil napaka init ng pagtangap sa ating pangulo, sa ating business delegation. We had a successful run ng Philippine Economic Forum [In the visit to Japan, we are happy with the warm reception to our President, our business delegation. We had a successful run of the Philippine Economic Forum].”
Among the companies include Japanese vehicle manufacturers Toyota Motors Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors – both have committed to start producing cars in the Philippines under the government’s Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS). Toyota will be manufacturing their Vios cars in the country while Mitsubishi will be producing their Mirage model here.
“They will form part of the CARS program of the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry), BOI (Board of Investments) wherein these manufacturers, if they produce in the country, will be given a little support and at the same time, will increase local content,” said Lopez. “In other words, they will source car parts from the Philippines so that will mean more business activities more jobs for Filipinos.”
Meanwhile, Ramon Jacinto, the president’s adviser on economic affairs, said that Duterte’s visit to Japan was “very positive” and that “the Japanese understood him very well in terms of what he really wants, and what he really means by asserting our independence, and that we have to stand up on our own, and that we have to create our own Asean region that is strong like the European Union.”