5 Phl-Japan deals, pacts expected during Marcos’ Tokyo visit

PBBM and First Lady Liza Marcos at Haneda International Airport. They are here to be part of the Commemorative Summit for 50 years  friendship and cooperation of ASEAN and Japan. 📷 Presidential Communications Office.
PBBM and First Lady Liza Marcos at Haneda International Airport. They are here to be part of the Commemorative Summit for 50 years friendship and cooperation of ASEAN and Japan. 📷 Presidential Communications Office.

At least five Philippines-Japan business deals and memoranda of understanding will be signed on the sidelines of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s participation in the 50th Commemorative ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation Summit in Tokyo. 

Department of Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual revealed this to reporters on Saturday, noting that the signing of the business agreements is scheduled for Monday.

"It's an expression of interest to invest in the Philippines, expressions of Japanese companies to invest in the Philippines. Some are MOUs between Philippine company and Japanese company," he said, noting that the eyed signing signifies Japan's "confidence and serious intent" to invest in the Philippines. 

Pascual said such development in the country's business industry supports the present policy of the Marcos administration in terms of alluring foreign investors to put up businesses in the Philippines. 

"These Japanese investments are most welcome, and they're among the largest investors in the Philippines already among all the nationalities that have operations in the country," he added.'

Marcos and Liza, the First Lady, along with the Philippine delegation arrived at Tokyo's Haneda International Airport on Friday night around 7 p.m. (Japan time).

The President previously said his visit to Japan came upon the invitation of Prime Minister Kishida Fumio. 

"The last ASEAN-related Summit for 2023 is an opportunity for the Philippines to affirm its position on current international issues and advance the interest of the country," Marcos said, adding that it could be "an opportunity for the Philippines welcome the conferment of Comprehensive Partner Status to Japan."

The Philippines-Japan relations were established on  23 July 1956.

Malacañang said the Philippines considers Japan as one of the country's three strategic partners, having 264 bilateral agreements with them.

The Philippines has worked with Japan on acquiring defense equipment and technology as well as infrastructure development and pushing peace in Mindanao. 

Japan also serves as the Philippines' second largest trading partner in 2022—recording a total trade of $23.49 billion—which is up by 10.9 percent from the $21.83 billion recorded in 2021. 

In the same period, exports and imports were valued at $11.13 billion and 12.35 billion, respectively.

Among the Philippines' priority sectors, it targets to promote Japan's investments are manufacturing, IT-BPM, Electronic Design Services, PPP Projects, Agribusiness and Aquaculture, and SME including cluster/supply chain building projects. 

As of present, Japan serves as the largest source of the country's Official Development Assistance, with a share of 40.49 percent or $12,923.99 million of the country's total portfolio, and the second largest source of grant assistance accounting for 28.93 percent, or $577.72 million of the total grants' portfolio.

There are 331,523 registered Filipinos currently staying in Japan.

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