THE Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) is scheduled to visit Japan next month for an investment mission.

CCCI president Melanie Ng said the chamber was invited by the Hiroshima Philippines Friendship Society (HPFS) to share investment opportunities in Cebu to Japanese investors in a one-day business forum on Nov. 7 in Hiroshima, Japan.

According to Ng, CCCI will highlight the sunshine industries in Cebu by introducing the various business sectors where Japanese investors can be involved. It would also highlight why Cebu is becoming an investment choice for foreign investors from different countries.

Ng is expected to talk about the various opportunities for doing business with CCCI members, including an overview of the business climate in Cebu, especially for potential investors and partners from Japan.

“Essentially, the presentation is aimed at selling Cebu to companies and investors based in Hiroshima and the surrounding region,” said Ng.

Hiroshima is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture and the largest city in the Chugoku region of western Honshu-the largest island of Japan. Hiroshima is best known as the first city in history to be targeted by a nuclear weapon by US during World War II.

The gross domestic product in Greater Hiroshima, Hiroshima Metropolitan Employment Area is $61.3 billion as of 2010. The city has six overseas sister cites namely, Honolulu, US; Volvograd, Russia; Hanover, Germany; Chongqing, China; Daegu, South Korea; and Montreal, Canada.

CCCI will be joined by representatives from the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo (International Trade Office) who will discuss trade, investment, industrial technology and agribusiness promotion, generation and development in the country as well as the reforms and opportunities for businesses under the Duterte administration.

Another speaker invited is the Japanese country manager of Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company (Tokyo office) who will also discuss financing and other investment issues.

“We hope that this presentation coupled with those from the banking and government sides will result in an outstanding information seminar package focusing on Cebu that will generate a lot of interest among Japanese businesses based in Hiroshima,” said Ng.

After this forum, HPFS is planning to organize a trade mission to Cebu in 2017.

Growth in trade and tourism is expected to increase following the increased direct flights between Cebu and a number of key cities in Japan.

Japan was the country’s top trading partner in 2015, accounting for trade worth $18.669 billion or 14.4 percent of the country’s total trade.

Exports to Japan totaled $12.301 billion while imports were valued at $6.369 billion, posting a trade surplus of $5.932 billion. Electronic products got a large share of 30.2 percent of the total exports to Japan valued at $3.721 billion, followed by woodcrafts and furniture at $2.853 billion or 23.2 percent.

On the other hand, majority of the imported products from Japan were electronic products billed at $2.193 billion or 34.4 percent and transport equipment with $962.86 million or 15.1 percent.

Aside from Japan, CCCI is also eyeing stronger trade partnerships with Dubai. The chamber also plans to pursue sisterhood deals with some business organizations in Germany through the facilitation of Afos Foundation for Entrepreneurial Development Cooperation.

“We are exploring the possibility of a sister chamber arrangement with some chambers on Germany, especially in support of our continuing project in the skills development for our K to 12 Industry Academe Linkage program,” said Ng.

Afos was founded by The Federation of Catholic Entrpreneurs-BKU, DEG-Deutsche Investions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft, the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, German International Cooperation (GIZ), and several other German organization committed to support entrepreneurial development in partner countries.