The Philippines and Japan concluded cooperation through a Signing Ceremony of Business Agreements on February 10, 2023, as part of the 5-day Official Visit of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. to Japan. The ceremony was witnessed by President Marcos. Jr. which covered the signing of 35 business agreements, including a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) between the Philippines and Japan, awarding of Certificate of Gratitude to the Government of Japan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, as well as the signing of several letters of intent and agreements between the Philippine government and businesses with major Japanese companies.
The MOC signed by DTI Secretary Fred Pascual and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Chairman and CEO Nobuhiko Sasaki is a government-to-government (G2G) agreement that aims to foster stronger economic cooperation and partnership between the two countries. JETRO is a government-related organization that works to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world.
“We recognize Japan as one of our longstanding bilateral partners in strategic trade. Through this MOC with JETRO, we aim to establish bilateral trade agreements, which focus on gathering more Foreign Direct Investments in the country. This complements our government’s initiatives aimed at continuing the Philippines’ robust economic recovery and expansion. Also, the Department can leverage on this opportunity to promote our local industries and at the same time, learn from the new technologies that Japanese companies and businesses employ, which Filipinos can adopt to improve products and services”, Secretary Pascual said.
Further, during the ceremony, a Certificate of Gratitude from Secretary Pascual and Go Negosyo Founder Jose Ma. A. Conception III was presented to the Government of Japan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. It reflects Philippine Government’s appreciation towards Japan for its invaluable contributions in support of the development of the country’s micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Particularly, the Philippines thanked Japan for its assistance in entrepreneurial mentorship through the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN), which the Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME) Program of DTI and Go Negosyo was based on.
“Through the assistance provided by the Government of Japan and the KMME Program, we have managed to assist 12,000 MSMEs and mobilized over 800 mentors since 2016. With this, we have helped MSMEs expand their operations and adopt new ideas on how they can grow their businesses”, Secretary Pascual shared.
Likewise, Secretary Pascual co-signed 21 Letters of Intent/Agreements (LOIs/LOAs) with Japanese companies such as ASTI Corporation, Brother Industries Ltd., Toyota Motor Corporation, and NIDEC-SHIMPO CORPORATION for manufacturing, Itochu Corporation for pineapple plantation, Kenko Tokina Co., Ltd., Japan Tobacco Inc., KURABE INDUSTRIAL CO, LTD., Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Tamiya, Inc., MinebeaMitsumi Inc.,TDK Corporation, and Yamaichi Electronics for factory expansion, and Marubeni Corporation for energy, healthcare, transportation, and afforestation projects.
Meanwhile, in terms of renewable energy, Secretary Pascual also signed an LOI with RENOVA, Inc. Other LOIs signed were under telecommunications and property development with Sojitz Corporation, transportation with Mitsubishi Corporation, autoparts and automobile with MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORPORATION, and Kiln renewal, distribution terminal, and berth reinforcement project with TAIHEIYO Cement Philippines Inc.
These LOIs/LOAs are expected to materialize within the yearand boost the government’s initiatives on exports development, MSME development, infrastructure connectivity, transportation efficiency, manufacturing expansion, renewable energy pursuits, and altogether generate more jobs for Filipinos