THE first post-pandemic Philippine business mission to Japan composed of 35 delegates from 23 companies, including those from Cebu, has generated business leads amounting to US$22 million from potential Japanese investors.

Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC)-Tokyo commercial counselor Dita Angara-Mathay said, “Philippine delegates generated business leads amounting to US$22 million from their interface with more than 90 Japanese stakeholders in Tokyo on this trip. Our delegates who immersed themselves in Japanese cultural expression, visual arts, digital interactive media and its play with advanced technologies identified potential partnerships in business development and capacity-building ventures, most important of which are those that will upgrade the skills of Filipino creators in Japanese style animation and game development.”

The delegation recently visited Tokyo last July to scope outsourcing opportunities in game development and animation and benchmark best practices in the creative industries.

Philippine creatives seek to gain multi-cultural experiences overseas to make socially responsive and sustainable contributions to the world’s global creative economy while promoting and developing Filipino-owned and Filipino-themed digital creative original IPs.

“It is integral to DTI’s thrust to enable businesses to survive and thrive through innovation and digitalization. We will upgrade, upskill and upsize enterprises in the country. We want to grow the Philippine economy and develop globally competitive and innovative industries that support inclusive growth and quality of life for all Filipinos,” Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual said in a statement.

DTI – Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) Director Christopher Lawrence Arnuco said they want to optimize the growth prospects of the Philippine creative industry by exploring business opportunities in foreign markets and learning from global best practices. “In 2021, creative services accounted for seven percent of the country’s overall economic output. We want to build on the growing international momentum of our IT-BPM, animation, game development, digital marketing, and design services.”

The DTI-EMB invited CEO members of the Game Developers Association of the Philippines, the Cybercraft Philippines Association and the Creative Content Creators Association of the Philippines Inc. to join forces with officials and members of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a joint bid to work towards the country’s aspiration to become a regional hub for creative services.

The PTIC in Tokyo, DTI’s field office in Japan, organized the week-long program with the support of its institutional partners like the Asean Japan Centre (AJC), the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Cabinet Office for Space Policy. AJC invited experts from the Computer Entertainment Suppliers Association, Association of Japanese Animations, Game Age Research Institute Inc. and AERA Lab to present on topics of interest such as Japan’s latest CG animation technologies, characteristics of game users in the Japanese market, and prospects for international collaboration in Japanese gaming and animation. The delegation also had meetings with Nintendo, Kadokawa, Altplus Inc., Katomasa Inc., SpiderPlus and Active ReTech.

Delegates also listened to briefings, engaged in dialogues and toured facilities of Creek and River and Center of Garage. Creek and River is a pioneer in the creator agency business consisting of about 80,000 creators and nearly 1,000 partner corporations.

Center of Garage is an incubation center composed of startups, super factories, and large corporations who share a collective vision of accelerating innovation of deep tech startups. Six Japan-based startups, all of whom expressed keen interest to enter the Philippine market, presented their innovations in construction materials, agriculture applications using big data from space assets, EV storage batteries, environment-friendly leaching using algae technology, biomaterials for geotextile nets and Riken ventures involving moss as agents for manufacturing and processing.

The group also visited Akihabara, Japan’s center for otaku culture; NTT Art Technology Museum, where cutting-edge digitalization and visualization technologies are used to showcase art and culture for regional promotion and revitalization; and Content Tokyo, a yearly event that draws the participation of local and global content creators, distributors, solutions and technology providers, marketing companies and licensing professionals. / CSL, PR