Duterte Japan trip yields Toyota, Mitsubishi deals in $1.85-B package


Posted at Oct 27 2016 05:35 PM | Updated as of Oct 27 2016 07:20 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte (C) speaks to the media after his inspection at the Japan Coast Guard base in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan October 27, 2016. Issei Kato, Reuters

TOKYO - President Rodrigo Duterte has secured $1.85 billion in investment pledges from Japanese companies here, including commitments from Toyota Motor Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors to build subcompacts in the Philippines, a Cabinet official said Thursday.

The two auto giants' decision to build Vios and Mirage models will boost Manila's efforts to revive its automotive industry, said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.

A total of 12 investment agreements were signed on the sidelines of Duterte's official visit here, which also covered agriculture and renewable energy. These are expected to generate 250,000 jobs, Lopez told reporters.

"That will mean more business activities [and] more jobs," he said.

Duterte is expected back in the country late Thursday after three days in Japan.

Aside from Toyota and Mitsubishi, Honda Motor Corp. also assembles cars in the Philippines.

In 2014, Toyota and Mitsubishi threatened to close their assembly plants and move to Malaysia and Indonesia due to rising costs.

In 2012, Suzuki Motor inaugurated a motorcycle plant in Canlubang, Laguna, in addition to its facility in Pasig City. 

Earlier this year, Chinese manufacturer Foton Motor’s factory started operations in the Clark Freeport Zone. -- report from Christian Esguerra, ABS-CBN News