JICA to bring 21 DTI staff to Japan for Local Industry Development Study PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 28 November 2014 12:11

By MICHAEL VINCENT D.CAJULAO

 

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will bring 21 Department of Trade and Industry staff from all over the country to Japan from December 7-18 to further enhance the capacity of the national government in improving industry competitiveness in the countryside.

DTI-9 Regional Director Sitti Amina M. Jain, one of the 21 personnel off for Japan, said, “JICA will be bringing us to areas for benchmarking, to study industry cluster practices in Japan, and observe potential initiatives for possible replication here to further improve the competitiveness of our Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs)”.

Jain pointed that the travel is a very good opportunity to get first-hand information on industry development there since Japan’s economy, just like the Philippines, is driven by SMEs.

“This (travel) will help us see for ourselves the effective initiatives that the Japanese Government has implemented to help their SMEs. Japan’s economy, just like us, is SME-driven. About 90% of their business establishments belong to the SME sector. We want to get ideas there that we can apply here, of course, tweaking them to suit the peculiar needs of our SMEs here”, Jain explained.

The program entitled “Support Systems and Initiatives of Japanese Government for Local Industry Development” is under the National Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Project (NICCEP) and has two primary goals; first, to achieve a globally-competitive and innovative industry and services sector contributing to employment generation and inclusive growth; and second, to strengthen cooperation between the Philippines and Japan in preparation for the 2015 ASEAN Integration.

The participants to the said program will be arriving in Japan on December 7. Briefing by JICA and program orientation will be conducted the following day. On the morning of December 9, the contingent will visit JICA Headquarters in Tokyo for a courtesy call. In the afternoon, a presentation on Organization for Small and Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation (SMRI), a support initiative for SME development, will be discussed.

On December 10, the participants will be briefed on SME financing by the Japan Finance Corporation, industry cluster in Japan, and distribution and promotion of local products and agricultural products. All these will be conducted in the capital city of Tokyo.

The participants on the third day of the program, will then move to Tsuchiura City to visit some of the successful SMEs as well as the business start-up support facilities, specifically Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza and Kashiwa-no-ha Open Innovation Laboratory, and TX Entrepreneur Partners.

On the 12th, the participants will be acquainted on distribution of agricultural and fishery products at the regional level. They will see first-hand the operation of the regional public wholesale market of agricultural and fishery products of the city, to be followed by promotion on local specialty products and local agricultural products in the regional level, with the latter to be conducted back in Tokyo.

Also part of the program is visiting Chubu Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry in Nagoya for local industry promotion, and the Central Japan Industries Association where collaborative initiatives for local industry development among agriculture, commerce and industry will be the focal point of the visit.

From Nagoya, the group will then go back to Tokyo for a site visit on agriculture, commerce, and industry collaboration initiatives. The program will wrap up on the 17th, with the participants flying back to the country, the following day.

Mr. Rodolfo M. Mabalot, Senior Trade-Industry Development Specialist, and national secretariat of the Philippine Rubber Technical Working Group, is the second participant from DTI-9 included in the 21-man contingent. — MVC/DTI-9