April 29, 2019
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) reaffirmed its commitment to support the Philippines' efforts to boost the automotive industry, through a cooperation project with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Board of Investments (BOI) towards enhancing industrial human resource development in the country.
JICA made this announcement at the recent Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) Meeting completing the Japanese bilateral aid agency's support to a technical cooperation with DTI-BOI on helping the Philippines craft an industrial promotions policy using value chain analysis through capacity building.
The two-year project Elaboration of Industrial Promotion Plans Using Value Chain Analysis with the DTI-BOI helped train government personnel on positioning Filipino automotive and automotive parts manufacturers in the global market. Under the project, JICA supported study tours in Thailand, Japan, and India to share with participants other nations' approaches and policies on Industry 4.0, research and development, and engineering services outsourcing (ESO).
Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo cited opportunities for the Philippines to explore electric vehicle manufacturing to complement other countries like Thailand and Indonesia when it comes to advanced automotive manufacturing.
"JICA recognizes the multiplier effect of the automotive industry to investments and jobs in the Philippines, and we will continue to support the government in its human resource and supply chain development initiatives," said Kiyo Kawabuchi, JICA Philippines Senior Representative.
Aside from JICA and DTI-BOI, also present during the JCC meeting were Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua and representatives from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Transportation (DOTr), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and private sector.
The Philippine automotive industry is one of the country's major industries generating about 1.68 million jobs. Automotive parts account for 6.4% of the country's exports ($3.8 billion) in 2017, data from BOI showed. The automotive industry has also set its sights towards one million (1M) car production by 2027, while also attracting more investments into the country under the Philippine Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program.
This year, JICA is set to work with DTI-BOI on a new technical cooperation project called Industrial Competitiveness Enhancement through Industrial Human Resource Development (IHRD) and Supply and Value Chain Development (SVCD) to encourage academe-industry-government collaboration and to come up with an operations model for IHRD and SVCD in partnership with private companies in the Philippines.