Japanese businesses have expressed interest in strengthening their partnership with the Philippines as a result of the country’s continuing high-level economic growth under the Marcos administration that makes it an attractive investment destination.

Ken Kobayashi, the chair of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), said that the nation’s stable and high-level economic growth in recent years have attracted Japanese investors to develop their operations in anticipation of increased workforce population as well as domestic demand.

“In the Socioeconomic 8-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. And it is expected that in these fields that we can see the further promotion of the cooperation between our two countries,” he said during JCCI’s courtesy on President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in Malacañang.

Citing the importance of the Philippines in Asia, Kobayashi said they decided to visit the country first after resuming sending missions to foreign countries. This is the first economic mission dispatched by the JCCI since the pandemic.

As a response, the President acknowledged Japan’s continuing assistance to the Philippines in terms of infrastructure development, noting however that it is presently facing a new economy and new technologies and has to play its part in the transformation of the global economy.

Aside from pushing infrastructure development, renewable energy, digitalization, telecommunications, the Philippines is prioritizing agriculture and climate change adaptation, he noted.

“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,” he told the members of the JCCI.

“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 Japanese mission, Kobayashi said, is composed some 70 strong members representing the top management of the Japanese corporate world, which is an illustration of the Japanese 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, Kobayashi said, adding the chamber is comprised of 515 local chambers across Japan.  | PND

Photo Courtesy of PCO