December 5, 2023

The Philippines’ stable and high-level economic growth makes it a top choice for Japanese businesses and investors, Malacañang said on Oct. 24.

The Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), in a courtesy call to Marcos at Malacañang in Manila on Oct. 23, has recognized the current administration’s efforts to transform the Philippines into an attractive investment destination, Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Cheloy Garafil said in a statement.

During the meeting with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., JCCI chairperson Ken Kobayashi noted Japanese firms have expressed interest in strengthening their partnership with the Philippines, adding it is the first country the organization visited as it resumes its economic missions.

Kobayashi said the Philippines’ sustained economic growth momentum have attracted Japanese investors to develop their operations in the country, in anticipation of increased workforce population and domestic demand.

“In the Socioeconomic Eight-Point Agenda that you have announced, Mr. President, prioritizes social security and the development of human capital. Also, it establishes the investment promotion, strengthening of digital infrastructure, the promotion of green economy, and so forth, through which you are aiming at expanding and creating jobs,” he told Marcos, as quoted by the PCO.

“And it is expected that in these fields that we can see the further promotion of the cooperation between our two countries,” Kobayashi added.

Acknowledging Japan’s continuing assistance to the Philippines in terms of infrastructure development, Marcos cited ways to further develop both nations’ economies and identified other areas for collaboration.

Marcos also emphasized his administration’s focus on new technologies that form part of the digital movement towards transforming the global economy.

He said the government is also prioritizing agriculture and climate change adaptation, apart from infrastructure development, renewable energy, digitalization and telecommunications.

“There is the overbearing issue of climate change. This is something that we really did not have to deal with in the past. But it is something that is here and present and we feel the effects of the climate change, especially here in the Philippines already,” Marcos told the JCCI members.

“Also, we have put great priority on the development of our agricultural sector. And again, we had some very interesting discussions with our Japanese counterparts concerning the areas of agriculture. And that is something that I think that we can, we need to develop and to continue. Again, the subject of climate change becomes part of that discussion as agriculture is very much affected by the effects of climate change.”

The JCCI’s visit to the Philippines is the first economic mission dispatched by the organization since the pandemic.

Kobayashi said the Japanese mission is composed of some 70 strong members, representing the top management of the Japanese corporate world and illustrating the corporations’ interest in the Philippines.

JCCI is the largest business organization in Japan, having 1.25 million companies ranging from big corporations to small and medium sized enterprises. It is comprised of 515 local chambers across Japan. – PNA