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Japanese investments to boost PH manufacturing industries

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Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said that the recently-signed Japanese investments will fuel the Philippines’ (PH) manufacturing resurgence. He added that of 26 agreements, 19 are letters of intent (LOI) that have a high rate of materialization and are in manufacturing cars, wire harness, printers, medical devices, and electronics.

“These investments will help expand our manufacturing base and increase our high-value exports. More importantly, these companies will employ thousands of Filipinos and help them better the quality of their lives,” said Sec. Lopez.

DTI Special Trade Representative (STR) in Tokyo Dita Angara-Mathay said that with these investments, the Philippines will become an emerging manufacturing hub for printers, medical devices, and wire harnessing.

The signed agreements include an LOI from Canon to expand its existing investments in the Philippines for monochrome laser printers including service parts, packaging materials, and optional products. For medical devices, Terumo Corporation signed an LOI to expand investments in manufacturing, sales and export of medical devices (i.e. disposable syringes, needles, safety-needles, IV catheters, and urinary drainage bags).

Furukawa Electric Corporation and Sumitomo Electric Industries likewise signed LOIs to expand their wire harness facilities in PH. Moreover, Furukawa will expand production capacity of wholly-owned centers for wire harnesses. Meanwhile, Sumitomo will build a new facility for wiring harness and related products for export to Japan and North America.

To train future manufacturing managers, Japanese companies Tescom Denki and Outsourcing Inc. signed an MOU with Filipino electronic and semiconductor subcontractor company EMS Group to send at least 3,000 skilled workers to Japan for training and work experience. These workers include engineers, IT professionals, and others. STR Angara-Mathay said that this program will fill the gap of manufacturing managers in PH.

DTI also sought out new investments through a business matching session with a diverse group of businesses, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The Board of Investments Director Angie Cayas and DTI-Bureau of Export Trade Promotions (DTI-BETP) Assistant Director Anthony Rivera gave their respective presentations on opportunities in manufacturing and services sectors.

DTI reported that the session generated 120 formal meetings, 56 informal meetings, one potential MOU, and USD17.45M in estimated business leads and potential sales to be realized in 1-3 years. Some Japanese companies likewise expressed interest for collaboration on fintech and AI.

Beyond manufacturing, Japanese firms also committed to invest in public and mass transport, defense, energy, power distribution, financing food and retail.

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