Japanese firms visit country

Posted on September 11, 2013

A 20-MEMBER business delegation from Japan is in the Philippines to explore business opportunities here and increase their own presence in the region.

“The Philippine Conference is the first trial of these endeavors. We plan to have similar conferences in other Asian countries in the years to come. But we place the first priority in your country,” Hajime Ishii, head of the Pan Pacific Business Partnership Association (PPBPA), told reporters in an interview late Monday.

The PPBPA is a Japanese business organization composed of members from real estate, manufacturing, and services companies, among others. Its delegation is scheduled to leave the country today.

Mr. Ishii said that the organization chose to do business in the Philippines first because of the country’s “good economic conditions” and its “strategic partnership” with Japan.

“The economic growth in the Philippines in recent years is tremendous. From my viewpoint, you have achieved remarkable and the best results among many other Asian countries,” he said.

“The relationship between the Philippines and Japan is of utmost importance, [and] our relation is so intimate compared to any other country. The strategic partnership covers not only ties of politics but also of economy, national defense, as well as many other fields,” Mr. Ishii added.

Some of the companies in the delegation were estate firm Taisei Housy Co., Ltd.; casino firm Yume Corp., elevator manufacturer SEC Elevator, Co., Ltd., and software firm Systems Co., Ltd.

Aside from exploring business opportunities in the Philippines, Mr. Ishii said, the firms are also interested in setting up a Japanese retirement village here due to the climate and economy.

“We are in talks with Vice-President [Jejomar C.] Binay regarding the establishment of a Japanese retirement village in the Philippines,” he said.

“The Philippines has a very good climate. The economy is really very good too. When a retiree comes here, he will be very rich because of the pension he will get from retirement. That will also be good for your economy,” Mr. Ishii added.

The PPBPA head said that should the plan push through, it will be the first official Japanese retirement village outside that country.

“We hope to sign a memorandum of understanding for this plan with the Philippine government in two years,” he said.

Mr. Binay was not immediately available for comment.

Japan was the Philippines’ top trading partner last year, with total bilateral trade amounting $16.35 billion.

It is also the Philippines’ largest source of development assistance and second-largest source of approved investments, which amounted to more than P69 billion in the previous year.

Japan is also the country’s third-largest source of tourists as 412,474 Japanese nationals visited these shores last year. -- Daryll Edisonn D. Saclag