MANILA - Filipino and Japanese businessmen forged $6 billion in investment pledges on the sidelines of President Rodrigo Duterte's official visit to Japan, one of his economic managers said Monday.
The two sides signed memoranda of understanding and letters of intent on joint ventures and expansion of existing investments in manufacturing, agribusiness, power, renewable energy, transportation, infrastructure, mineral processing, retail, information and communications technology, and business process management, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
The President met with Japanese businessmen, said Lopez, who also had a meeting with his Japanese counterpart, Hiroshige Seko.
Lopez said he discussed the possible lowering of tariffs for Philippine banana, mango, and pineapple exports to Japan.
Duterte's first visit to Japan in October last year yielded $1.8 billion in investment pledges, including commitments from auto makers Toyota and Mitsubishi.
In a joint statement following their meeting on Monday, Duterte touted Manila’s resolve “in building a golden age for our strategic partnership” with Japan.
“As a true friend of the Philippines, Japan has been with us through these years, helping us in our own principled pursuit to free ourselves from the threats to the security and well-being of my nation and people,” he said.