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Japanese companies bullish in PH business climate, expected further increase in 2019

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By Monsi A. Serrano

Japanese companies in the Philippines expressed optimism in the business climate in the Philippines based on the experience of the Japanese companies doing business in the Philippines.

Speaking to THEPHILBIZNEWS, Mr. Takashi Ishihara, Executive Director of JETRO Manila during the Philippine-Japan Joint Innovation for Inclusive Growth Seminar spearheaded JETRO MANILA in cooperation with Philippine Board of Investments held at Dusit Thani Manila, the JETRO Manila official revealed the positive experience of Japanese companies in the Philippines and how they see 2019.

“We conduct our 2018 survey on the Business Conditions of Japanese companies in Asia and Oceania, and we notice that the profitability of Japanese companies doing business in the Philippines remains good and we are very hopeful that this 2019 further increase is expected”, Ishihara said.

“The increase in profits are attributed to the sales demand and volume in both local and overseas market. Furthermore, the big improvement in production and sales have helped a lot. Given this scenario, we are hopeful that there would be more expansions to take place in 2019 and in the years to come”, he added.

When asked if there would be more Japanese investors to come in 2019, the JETRO Manila Executive Director said, “Certainly. But of course as some Japanese investors looking at the Philippines would like to really see some changes in the ownership of the company in the Philippines”.

This was also the concern brought up by the CEO of InstaLimb, Mr. Yutaka Tokushima, another Japanese company doing business in the Philippines during his presentation, who hopes that they (Japanese investors and prospective Japanese investors) would be heard on their request on the issues on deregulation on retail sales for foreign capital’s company, access to subsidy with Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Science and Technology in connection with innovation start-up, and product liability insurance be enriched.

There are many other new Japanese companies doing business in the Philippines like Global Mobility Service Philippines, who has been doing auto-Finance service for those who do not have access to financial loans. This Financial Technology (FinTech) company envisions to provide help to the ones with no financial opportunities and Generate employment in ASEAN countries and their young but dynamic Chief Operating Officer Mr. Kazumasa Nakashima was very optimistic with the Philippine market.

The Global Mobility Service Philippines looks forward to provide many more opportunities and stable economy through employment, cleaner environment and many more exciting programs in the pipeline.

Another exciting Japanese company involved in technology is the Global Market Business Development, Liquid Inc. Headed by their Country Manager, Mr. Kensuke Ochiai.

The Liquid Inc. has been establishing a system using “Biometrics Payment” through “Finger Print” that would provide efficient service and cut the operation time or process by half.

With this technology, Ochiai is hopeful to have many more partners establishments in both the private and government sectors thereby making it convenient for all the end-users.

Also, another Japanese technology in the Philippines is Informatix Inc. and its Leader for Sales Department, Mr. Shintaro Matsumara who made a good presentation about how to protect the valuable data using “cloud” based on Geographical Information System (GIS).

For his part, Mr. Masamichi Suzuki, Deputy Chief Representative of AEM-METI Economic and Industrial Cooperation Committee (AMEICC) from Bangkok Office, shared with THEPHILBIZNEWS that he is very confident that the ASEAN neighbors will continue to collaborate together in various projects in the new industries that would strengthen the ties between ASEAN countries and Japan.

Meanwhile, during the last part of the interview with Executive Director of JETRO Manila, Mr. Ishihara, he also noted that the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines share the same positive view for 2019 based on their experience in 2018 and are hopeful that President Duterte would continue to work on the economic reforms and address some issues brought up not by Japanese companies or investors, but also the concerns of the Foreign Chamber of Commerce Associations in the Philippines.

The Philippine-Japan Joint Innovation for Inclusive Growth Seminar is organized by JETRO Manila together with Board of Investments, Department of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, (METI) Japan, AEM-METI Economic and Industrial Cooperation Committee (AMEICC), The Association for Overseas Technical Cooperation and Sustainable Partnership (AOTS), Japan and Japan External Trade Manila, and supported by Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines and The Philippine-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee, Inc. (PHILJEC). 

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