President Duterte, Prime Minister Abe meet investors in Davao business forum, 13 Jan. 2017

DAVAO CITY– President Rodrigo Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met on Friday with Filipino and Japanese businessmen having discussions at the Waterfront Insular Hotel here in Davao City about investment opportunities in the Philippines.

Duterte and Abe had a photo opportunity with the Filipino and Japanese business groups, who joined the Prime Minister in his two-day official visit in the country.

In his speech, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez encouraged Japanese companies to invest in the Philippines.

He cited various reasons why foreign investors should invest in the country, including robust economic growth primarily driven by manufacturing, trade, real state, renting and other business activities.

He also said that the Filipino population is younger compared with the rest of the world with median age of 23.1 years. The Philippines is in a demographic sweet spot by having a young, employed, and more prosperous consumer-based population for the coming years, Lopez said.

He added that the country has human capital advantage over other destinations with its English-speaking, honest and creative workforce.

It is best to invest in the Philippines because its economy is powered by strategic investment flows, it has a comprehensive national industrial strategy and a clear 10 plus one economic agenda crafted by the Duterte administration, and has strategic location advantage over other countries, the DTI chief said.

After meeting the businessmen, Abe and the President proceeded to an event where a Philippine eagle was named as a symbol of the growing friendship and partnership of Philippines and Japan. The leaders’ spouses, Akie and Honeylet, also graced the event.

Abe adopted the eagle, which was named “Sakura” during Friday’s event at the Waterfront Hotel garden area.

Sakura is a female, juvenile Philippine eagle rescued by indigenous people in Talaingod in Davao Del Norte. The bird was found in a river bank with a gunshot injury in its left abdomen. It is being rehabilitated by the Philippine Eagle Foundation in its facility in Davao.

PEF reported that there are only 400 pairs of Philippine eagle left in the wild, hoping that Sakura’s successful rehabilitation would help boost the Philippine eagle population in the country.

Prior to Prime Minister Abe’s departure from Davao City, he visited the Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku (MKD) in Lanang in this city, meeting students and teachers there.

Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku is a tertiary institution of the Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai in Davao City, the school said in its website. It was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on April 18, 2001.

Among the courses being offered are BS International Studies and BS Social Services. In a brief period, MKD boasted having received accolades such as in the National Nihongo Speech Contest sponsored by the Japan Foundation in Manila.

MKD is established primarily to help the young Filipinos of the 21st century in the pursuit of academic excellence and service to humanity alongside their goal of becoming globally competitive.

Abe was the first head of state who visited the home city of Duterte.

Abe and his delegation left for Sydney around 12:30 p.m. Friday as he proceeds with his four-nation swing which will bring him to Australia, Indonesia, and Vietnam after visiting the Philippines.###PND