Japanese SMEs eye expansion of ties with PH

October 24, 2017 - 12:03 AM
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A branch of Japan Home Center in Robinsons Galleria is seen in file photo from Ortigas.com

MANILA – The Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines (JCCIPI) has seen new growth potential to sustain the momentum of an expanding economic partnership between the Philippines and Japan.

JCCIPI president Hiroshi Shiraishi said Japanese small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are eyeing to enter the Philippine market, since many big companies from Japan are already in the country.

Shiraishi said the Philippines is a potential market for Japanese SMEs with the country’s young workforce and lower labor cost compared to Japan’s aging population and high labor cost.

“Additional to attractiveness is open policy, easing restrictions and regulations, and partnership between Japan and the Philippines in private sector – that means we need some kind of specific industrial dialogue” such as which segment more Japanese companies would have more interest in the market, he added.

He also welcomed the plan of the government to ease the retail trade sector by lowering the minimum paid-up capital for foreign players from USD2.5 million to USD200,000.

“If we can say that the easing of the restriction also includes the easing in retail trade, then it’s okay. It’s better. It’s better if it’s included,” the JCCIPI head noted.

“We still need business partners in the Philippines so we can develop the market. More MSMEs (micro, small, and medium enterprises) in Japan have interest, but of course they need the partner in the Philippines because they [Japanese firms] are more domestic. They are not global. So that means they need support on how the market is here in the Philippines,” added Shiraishi.