DAVAO CITY, Philippines— The leader of the Philippines top trading partner has arrived for a two-day state visit.
Japan Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and his wife, first lady Akie Abe, arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3, around 2:50 pm Thursday afternoon aboard a Japanese Airforce plane.
Abe met with President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang. He is the first head of state to visit the Philippines this year.
Abe’s visit is seen to boost the Japan and the Philippines economic interest, an official said Wednesday.
According to Mindanao Development Authority Deputy Executive Director Romeo Montenegro, the government of Japan has pledged to provide assistance and opportunities by way of putting up projects in Mindanao.
Japan’s Shinzō Abe will arrive here on late Thursday, January 12, the first head of state to visit Davao after the visit of the prime minister of Indonesia way back 1994, he said.
Montenegro pointed out that Abe’s visit in Davao aims to strengthen the Philippines and Japan partnership, highlighting “Mindanao’s major role to enhance the defend bilateral in economic relation between Philippines and Japan.”
“The visit of prime minister Abe in Mindanao brings Philippines and Japan relation to the next level,” he said.
Montenegro said that Japan and Philippines have strong bilateral economic relation tights for several years and holds strategic partnership.
Montenegro said that during Abe’s visit, representatives coming from the private sector will have a presentation in a bid to engage Japanese investors.
In a business meeting with Japanese investors, he said, that the government of Japan is looking forward to engage in power or renewal energy projects, a number of hydro power projects in CARAGA region, road projects, among others.
“We expect to be able to present investment opportunities of Davao by the Davao City investment promotion of business opportunities on regional scale the Department of Trade in Industry and the greater Mindanao micro economic development,” Montenegro said.
He said that Japan is one of the Official Development Assistance partners of the Philippines along with Japan International Cooperation Agency. JICA is a government agency that coordinates official development assistance for the government of Japan.
Montenegro said that JICA alone in 2014 has contributed $3.3 billion to the Philippines.
“That’s a big support from Japanese government to provide opportunities to transform many areas in Mindanao in the areas of governance education, health services, infrastructure, as well as investors,” he said.
According to Montenegro, JICA has committed to do an urban transport study in Davao.
He said many of the assistance provided by the Japanese government, either grant or loans, are seen to help improve Philippine economy. (With a report by Jaycel Villacorte, Intern/davaotoday.com)