Let’s revitalise Philippine-Japan business partnerships: President Marcos

Marcos hopes that the deals and discussions that would happen during his visit would play a crucial role in the Philippines’ economic transformation.

Gabriel Pabico Lalu

Gabriel Pabico Lalu

Philippine Daily Inquirer


Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (3-L) and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (2-R) talk at prime minister?s official residence in Tokyo, Japan, 09 February 2023. KIMIMASA MAYAMA/Pool via REUTERS

February 10, 2023

MANILA/strong> — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has called on stakeholders from both the Philippines and Japan to revitalize partnerships made dormant by the COVID-19 pandemic, expressing optimism that his official working visit would yield fruitful results.

Marcos in a dinner hosted by the executives of Mitsui & Co. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp (MPIC) on Wednesday night — just after his arrival in Tokyo — thanked Japan for the many projects that Japan has placed in the Philippines either through funding agencies and government-to-government transactions.

However, he admitted that there is a need to push for the movement of these partnerships as both countries in the past recent years focused on the health crisis.

“The partnership between not only Mitsui but the whole of Japan and the Philippines has been a long-standing one. We can point to so many of the developments that happened in the Philippines with the assistance of the different Japanese funding agencies and our government-to-government arrangements and commercial arrangements, and these have been to the benefit of both our countries,” Marcos said.

“The partnerships, I think, that we have developed with our friends here in Japan — with Mistui, in particular — are now (dormant), we will have to revitalize them as they have been dormant to a degree, during the lockdowns of the pandemic,” he added.

Marcos hopes that the deals and discussions that would happen during his five-day visit would play a crucial role in the Philippines’ economic transformation.

“We look forward to the discussions that we will be having here for the next few days as we… have great hopes that this will be a driver in the transformation of our economy,” he added.

Video footage from the Radio Television Malacañang showed Marcos along with Mitsui and MPIC executives like Mitsui & Co. chief executive officer Kenichi Hori and MPIC chairperson Manny Pangilinan.

Aside from Pangilinan, some of the Philippines’ top businesspeople who are part of the country’s delegation were also present like San Miguel Corp’s Ramon Ang and Ayala Corp’s Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.

The President was accompanied by First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos along with several key government officials including Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, and former president and now Senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

According to the Presidential Communications Office, Mitsui & Co. is a Japanese company that “primarily engages in product sales, logistics and financing, infrastructure projects, iron and steel products, information technology (IT) and communication, among other businesses”.

The said company has more than 128 offices in 63 countries, including the Philippines.

Marcos is in Tokyo, Japan for a series of engagements through the stretch of the five-day official working visit, which runs from Feb 8 to 12.

The President is expected to meet members of Japan’s Imperial Family later in the day, and then Prime Minister Kishida Fumio at the Prime Minister’s Office.

He will then have several business meetings on Friday, and will meet members of the press and the Filipino community on Sunday, before leaving for Manila.

On Wednesday also, Marcos said that his visit to Japan is very different from other foreign trips in the sense that groundwork has already been laid, unlike in other past engagements where there was an effort to introduce the Philippines to the world.

While this is Marcos’ first visit to Japan since assuming the presidency last June 30, he and Prime Minister Kishida Fumio have already met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly held in New York last September 2022.

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