Business deals to be signed during Duterte's visit to Japan, DTI chief says
At least 10 business deals are expected to be signed during President Rodrigo Duterte's visit to Japan later this month, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said on Thursday.
In a virtual presser in Malacanang, Lopez said two would be memoranda of understanding and eight would be letters of intent of some Japanese businesses in the country and just wanting to expand their operation here.
While he could not divulge the companies involved in the business-to-business agreements, Lopez said the sectors include energy, tourism, manufacturing, services, artificial intelligence and others.
Duterte will be on his third visit to Tokyo on May 29 to 31 where he was invited to address a Nikkei forum.
Lopez said that during the business forum, Duterte could highlight the new credit rating upgrade that the Philippines received from Standard & Poor's, reforms being pushed by the administration, especially under the incoming new Congress, and the security aspect.
He was not yet sure if Duterte would have a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Asked if the review on the Japan-Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement ( JPEPA) would be raised by Duterte if he would have a bilateral meeting with Abe, Lopez said it would be up to Duterte.
However, Lopez noted that during Duterte's last trip to Japan in October 2017, he asked that the Philippines be allowed "greater access" of its agricultural products, such as bananas, to Japan by lowering tariff rates.
"It was agreed that this can be discussed on the review on tariff rates of agricultural products," he said.
"Whether this (JPEPA review) will be raised, we'll leave it to the President," Lopez added. Celerina Monte/DMS