One of the major highlights of the Presidential visit to Japan of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on October 29-31, 2017 was the witnessing of the signing and exchange of Memorandum of Agreements (MOUs) and Letter of Intents (LOIs) between Philippine government and Japanese private firms, as well as between Japanese firms and their Philippine counterparts. These agreements are in the areas of transportation, manufacturing, shipbuilding, real estate, information technology and business process management, renewable energy and power generation, infrastructure, retailing, agri-business, iron and steel, and real estate development. These new investments to the Philippines are expected to be around US $ 5 to 6 billion, spread over a couple of years.
Among those companies who signed the MOUs in front of President Duterte was Ubicom Holdings, Inc. (Ubicom) and it's Philippine subsidiaries - Advanced World Systems, Inc. (AWS) and Alsons/AWS Information Systems, Inc. (AAISI). AWS is a 100% subsidiary of Ubicom, while AAISI is a joint venture company between AWS and Alsons Corporation, one of the biggest conglomerates in the Philippines.
The MOU covered the current and future joint activities between Ubicom, AWS and AAISI in the areas of: R&D on Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Automation and Internet of Things (IoT), embedded systems development, automotive software development, enterprise systems and business applications development, mobile systems development, as well as product quality assurance and testing.
"This agreement is not only a commitment to the Philippine government and to the leadership of President Duterte who is enjoying a very strong support from the Filipino people, but this will also secure the future of our company. AWS and AAISI can now continue to recruit and train new personnel needed for our business expansions, especially in new areas and new technology. AWS has about 800 employees now, while AAISI has about 400 employees, which totals to around 1,200 employees in the Philippines. As we announced earlier, we would like to make Ubicom/AWS group to reach 2,000 people by 2020.", Mr. Masayuki Aoki, CEO of Ubicom Holdings and AWS Group, said. "It was a pleasant meeting with President Duterte, and it was an honor to sign the MOU in front of him together with other big Japanese companies and big Filipino companies.", Mr. Aoki added.
The other Japanese companies who signed LOIs and MOUs were big companies such as Marubeni Corporation, Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd., Tsuneishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., Itochu Corporation, Taiheiyo Cement Corporation, Ministop Co. Ltd., Lawson Inc., Japan Gas Co. Ltd., Japan Tobacco Inc., Hitachi Ltd., Nomura Real Estate Development Co., Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd., Densan System Co. Ltd., Hitachi Asia Ltd., List Co. Ltd., Subic Smart Community Corporation, and Yamato Kogyo Co. Ltd. While Philippine government agencies include the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Finance, Department of Energy, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Bases Conversion Development Authority, and Philippine-based private companies such as Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, Manila Electric Company, Federal Land Inc., CIS Bayad Center Inc., and Steel Asia Manufacturing Corporation.