Philippine firms to sign 20 deals during Duterte’s Japan visit

30, May. 2019

MANILA, NNA - Philippine executives accompanying President Rodrigo Duterte on a visit to Tokyo this week are expected to sign more than 20 business deals with Japanese firms worth almost 300 billion pesos ($5.7 billion).

The Department of Trade and Industry said in a statement Tuesday that the business agreements could generate 80,000 jobs in the Philippines.

Duterte will be in Tokyo to attend the two-day 25th annual International Conference on the Future of Asia starting Thursday.

“Japanese investors remain bullish on the sustained growth momentum under the administration of President Duterte, given its aggressive infrastructure build-up, meaningful investment and financial reforms and demographic advantages,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a statement.

Lopez said the investment pledges will be in the areas of “infrastructure, manufacturing, electronics, medical devices, business process outsourcing, power, electricity, transport, automotive, food manufacturing, and marine manpower industries.”

Japan is the Philippines' second largest trading partner. Bilateral trade totaled $20 billion dollars in 2018, with the Philippines exporting $9.5 billion worth of goods and importing $10.5 billion, according to Philippine data.

Bananas are among the top Philippine products exported to Japan.

Philippine news reports said Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol, who is accompanying Duterte as part of a high-level trade mission, will extend his stay in Japan to discuss “stringent” Japanese quarantine standards for Philippine bananas. They began in May 2018 after pesticides were detected in shipments. Banana exporters are also calling for lower import duties in Japan.