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Event Report: Cebu Business Seminar “Opportunities in the Creative Industries”

Event Report: Cebu Business Seminar “Opportunities in the Creative Industries”

An online Cebu Business Seminar was held on 29 February, with the theme of “Opportunities in Creative Industries.” The event was moderated by Ferda Gelegen, Deputy Head of UNIDO ITPO Tokyo, and featured 91 participants, including eight panelists and speakers from the private and public sector involved in Cebu’s anime and game development industry.

The seminar began with a video greeting from Mr. Raymond Alvin Garcia, vice mayor of Cebu City, followed by the pitch session by Mr. Ephrem de la Cerna from the Games Development Association of the Philippines (GDAP) and Mr. Lawrence Panganiban from the Cebu Creative Entertainment Council. They discussed emerging trends in the animation and game development industry in Cebu, as well as the challenges they face and future aspirations for the industry. Both passionately explained how Japanese anime and game culture is deeply rooted in the Philippines’ youth, and many Filipinos aspire to become involved in the Japanese anime and game industry.

Ms. Annie Cuizon from the Cebu City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) shared with us the vision of the future Cebu City industrial district plan and the investment plan that will be allocated to the development of the Cebu City creative industry ecosystem.  

During the Cross Talk session, Ms. Rafaelita Aldaba from the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry, Mr. Nestor Palabrica from TOEI Philippines, and Ms. Itsuko Kogiso from Creative Minds LLC Tokyo each highlighted opportunities, incentives and the business potential to involve Japanese companies in the creative industry development in Cebu.

Ms. Aldaba from the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry introduced the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act, which was approved last year to promote and support the development of the creative industry by protecting and strengthening the rights and capacity of stakeholders involved in the creative industry. The arts, entertainment, and recreation sector grew by 21% year-on-year, ranking it as the second fastest-growing economic sector in the country. 

Mr. Palabrica talked about the history of TOEI Philippines, the past and current challenges they face as the only Toei subsidiary in the world, future aspirations, and the possibility of TOEI Philippines expanding its business into Cebu in the near future.  

Ms. Kogiso provided variable insight on criteria and resources that Japanese companies consider critical when deciding to invest in Cebu’s anime and game industry. She emphasized the importance of establishing a Production Liaison that can bridge the gap between Japan and Cebu’s creative industries. 

Finally, Ms. Ma Bernardita Mathay, Commercial Counsellor of the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Tokyo concluded the seminar by reaffirming the commitment of the Philippine government to promote the creative industry and extending invitation to Japanese companies to jointly seize the opportunities that lie ahead in Cebu City. 

Mr. Gelegen of UNIDO closed the event by thanking all participants and speakers, and also thanking Mr. Caesar Atienza, advisor to the vice mayor of Cebu City, who actively supported this event, and also acknowledging cooperation and support extended by the ASEAN Promotion Centre on Trade, Investment and Tourism (ASEAN-Japan Centre).


Seminar Outline

Date: Thursday, 29 February 2024
Time: 15:00-16:30 (JST) / 14:00-15:30 (PHT)
Venue: Online (Zoom)
Organizers: UNIDO ITPO Tokyo
Cebu City
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Philippines
Supporters: ASEAN trade, investment and tourism promotion centre (ASEAN-Japan Centre)
Language: English – Japanese (Simultaneous interpretation)



15:00     Opening Remarks
              Ms. Fumio ADACHI, Head, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo

15:05     Welcome Remarks and Presentation on Investment Opportunities
              in the Creative Entertainment Industries in Cebu City

              Mr. Raymond Alvin Garcia, Vice Mayor, Cebu City

15:20    Pitching by Cebu-based Companies in the Creative Industries
             – Game Development
              Mr. Ephrem de la Cerna, Games Development Association of the Philippines            
             – Animation
              Mr. Lawrence Panganiban, Cebu Creative Entertainment Council        

15:35     Presentation on the Planned Creative Industry District in Cebu City
              Architect Annie Cuizon, Cebu City Planning and Development Office  

15:45     CROSS-TALK: Japanese Business Experiences & Enabling Business Environment

             Presentation on the Business experience in the Philippines (Cebu) by Japanese investor in the Creative Industries
             Mr. Nestor Palabrica, Vice President, TOEI, Philippines

             Presentation on What do Japanese Investors consider as important factors in deciding where to invest
             Ms. Ikuko Kogiso, Creative Minds LLC Tokyo

             Presentation on Incentives for Investors in the Philippines particularly those in the Creative Industries
             Ms. Rafaelita Aldaba, Undersecretary, DTI Philippines

             Q & A

16:25    Closing Remarks
             Ms. Ma Bernardita Mathay, Commercial Counsellor for Trade and Investment, PTIC Tokyo

16:30    End


For more information, please contact:

Mr. Gelegen/ Ms. Horiguchi, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo