Economic forum commemorating visit to Japan by Philippine President
On February 10, to commemorate the visit of the President of the Philippines to Japan, JETRO co-hosted the "Philippine Business Opportunities Forum - Economic Outlook and Expanding Business Opportunities" in Tokyo with the Department of Trade and Industry of the Philippines, Japan-Philippine Economic Commission, ASEAN-Japan Center, Philippines Association, Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Japan, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Department of Finance of the Philippines. Approximately 640 people, including government officials and corporate executives from both Japan and the Philippines, participated in the forum, making it the largest offline event for JETRO since the COVID-19 crisis.
The forum was held on the first visit to Japan by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. The Marcos administration has set out eight socioeconomic policy agendas, consisting of short-term targets for issues faced by the people, such as rising prices and the novel coronavirus, and medium-term targets, such as job creation and digitalization. President Marcos and other important economic ministers of the administration gave presentations directly to Japanese businesspeople about the attractiveness of the Philippines, future economic and fiscal policies, promotion of foreign investment and the direction of infrastructure development.
Welcoming President Marcos and Philippine government ministers to Japan
At the beginning, on behalf of the Japanese government, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Nishimura Yasutoshi said that for Japan, the Philippines is located at a strategic point of sea lanes that connect the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Far East. He said that Japan is a strategic partner that shares fundamental values such as the rule of law and democracy. Next, Chairman Sasaki of JETRO spoke about the significance of the forum, the policy of the Philippine government to attract foreign investment and his expectations for fields in which Japanese companies can demonstrate their strengths. After that, the co-hosts of the forum on the Japanese side along with JETRO, Mr. Asada, Co-Chairman of the Japan-Philippines Economic Cooperation Committee (JPECC), Mr. Hirabayashi, Secretary-General of the ASEAN-Japan Center, and Mr. Katsura, President of the Philippine Association, made greetings in which they welcomed President Marcos and many Philippine government ministers as well as the holding of the forum, in which many business people were taking part.
Presentations and panel discussions by ministers on economic trends, infrastructure development and government policies
The presentation and panel discussion were divided into two parts, each consisting of a presentation by a minister followed by a panel discussion with that minister as well as private sector representatives involved in the relevant topic. In the first part, Secretary of Finance Diokno explained topics such as economic developments regarding trade and investment relations between Japan and the Philippines, the labor market and foreign exchange reserves. He then introduced the review of various laws and systems related to foreign investment, public services and retail trade, as well as the energy policy in order to meet the demands of the current economic environment, and indicated areas where cooperation from Japan is expected and will be key to future economic growth. In the second part, referring to the importance of science, technology and innovation for inclusive and sustainable industrial development, Secretary of Trade and Industry Pascual noted that business will develop by improving and strengthening "connectivity, both physical and digital." Physically, railways and highways that connect cities, regions and areas will be developed, while digitally, support would be provided to promote DX for small and medium-sized enterprises and to improve their profitability and connect them with larger markets.
President Marcos to make Japan-Philippines economic relationship even more mutually beneficial and strong
At the end of the forum, President Marcos delivered the keynote speech. He said, "Japan is one of the Philippines' largest trading partners and investors. At the same time, the Philippines provides Japanese investors with a stable supply of high-quality labor and a macroeconomic environment that can serve as a growth engine. We would like to further enhance our mutually beneficial and strong relationship." As reasons for considering business expansion in the Philippines, he cited, while giving specific figures, (1) the country’s recovery from the corona disaster due to its high growth rate, (2) an excellent business environment with relaxed foreign investment regulations, investment incentives and ratification of RCEP and (3) active infrastructure investment policies. Japanese companies who listened to the speech said, "The explanation was clear and persuasive," and "I was able to grasp the policies of the Marcos administration."
Keynote address by President Marcos
Memorandum signing ceremony for new investment in the presence of President Marcos
Prior to the forum, the Philippine Embassy hosted a memorandum signing ceremony in the presence of President Marcos, former President Arroyo, Speaker of the House of Representatives Romualdez and other representatives of the Philippine government. JETRO also signed a memorandum of cooperation on comprehensive investment support and collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry of the Philippines. The agreement was signed and exchanged by Philippine Secretary of Department of Trade and Industry Pascual and JETRO Chairman Sasaki. At the signing ceremony, 34 documents were signed and exchanged between the Philippine government and private companies and Japanese private companies and organizations in various fields such as clean energy, high-tech manufacturing, infrastructure development and retail.
Welcoming remarks by Nishimura Yasutoshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry
Welcoming remarks by Sasaki Nobuhiko, Chairman and CEO, JETRO
Discussion by Benjamine E. Diokno, Philippine Secretary of Department of Finance
Discussion by Felipe M. Medalla, Governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
Presentation by Alfredo E. Pascual, Philippine Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry
Discussion by Christina G. Frasco, Philippine Secretary of the Department of Tourism
Commemorative photo of all speakers
Exchange of MOC between the Philippine Department of Trade and Investment and JETRO
Signing ceremony for MOC, etc.
|Date and time||Friday, February 10, 2023, 14:30 - 17:20|
Department of Trade and Industry of the Republic of the Philippines
Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
Japan-Philippines Economic Cooperation Committee (JPECC)
Philippine Society of Japan
Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Japan
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
Department of Finance of the Republic of the Philippines
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (METI),
Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI)
Daiwa Securities Group Inc.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc.
Mizuho Financial Group, Inc.
Nomura Holdings, Inc.
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Inc.