The public can expect several deals to be signed between Filipino and Japanese businessmen as President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. ensures to court more foreign investors for the country, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
DFA Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs Neal Imperial said this during the pre-departure briefing for Marcos’ trip to Japan from Feb. 8 to 12.
While he could not give a specific amount as to the number of investment pledges that could be obtained during the working visit, Imperial said the public could expect many of them.
He added that at least 150 business personalities have signed up to join Marcos’ business delegation.
“Judging from the size of the business delegation [and] with the number of meetings and business activities lined up for the President, we foresee a lot of business deals to be signed in a lot of areas,” Imperial said on Wednesday.
“As for the estimated figure for investment pledges, we will leave that for the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) to explain, especially after the business meetings,” he added.
Marcos will be going to Japan for an official work visit next week. This is upon the invitation of Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, whom he first met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York in September last year.
Imperial said seven key agreements and documents are expected to be signed between the two countries during the trip. He, however, noted that the economic portion of the visit would be “equally important.”
“The President is devoting a lot of time to ensuring that we are able to attract more interest from Japanese investors and we are able to sell more products for export to the Japanese markets,” he said.
Japan is the only country with which the Philippines has a bilateral free trade agreement called the PH-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA).
In 2021, Japan was the Philippines’ second-largest trading partner, third-largest export market, and second-top source of imports.
Japan has also been the country’s biggest bilateral source of active official development assistance (ODA), providing concessional loans to finance critical infrastructure and capacity-building projects, social safety net programs, education, agriculture, science and technology support, and many other high-impact programs.
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