THE PHILIPPINES-JAPAN SOCIETY
by unanimous resolution of its Board of Directors
Proudly confers upon
JOSEPH K.H. UY
MEDAL OF MERIT
for Outstanding Achievement in the Promotion
Joseph K.H. Uy was born in Amoy, China on October 20, 1926 and migrated to Manila in 1935 together with his mother in a wooden junk boat. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree from Far Eastern University. Mr. Uy achieved his current distinguished stature in the Philippine business and international trading through sheer hardwork, foresight and determination, the steady support of family, friends, and colleagues and an abiding faith in God in which he attributes to his early education in Chinese Christian Schools in Manila run by American Protestant missionaries.
In partnership with his late father, Mr. Uy established Trans World Trading Company on December 1, 1946. It was a general trading company for imported consumer items. Engines and automotive part were soon added to the product list.
In 1959, Mr. Uy and his father initiated a major shift and expansion of Trans World Trading Company’s business coverage and practice. It started its importation and distribution of synthetic resins, industrial and agricultural chemicals, and plastics processing machinery. Subsequently, added to these were water treatment chemicals and semiconductor raw materials. Within the same period, the company as well, entered for the first time into exclusive distributorship agreements with world-renowned chemical and petrochemical companies like Montedison S.p.A., Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., Mitsui Petrochemical Industries Co., Ltd., Chisso Corporation, Asahi Chemical Industries Co., Ltd. most of which were notably Japanese Corporations. This undoubtedly marked the beginning of the company’s and Mr. Joseph K.H. Uy’s active involvement in the promotion of friendly trade relations between Japan and the Philippines. These significant developments eventually led to the company’s rapid growth as a business enterprise, the dissolution of the original business partnership, and the establishment of a corporation to replace it.
Thus, Trans World Trading Co., Inc. was established on June 16, 1964. The company has since evolved to be among the Philippines’ top corporations and is considered among the leaders in its areas of business. Its business operations include local and international trading activities over wide range of products from many countries. Japanese companies have consistently provided the biggest list of trading partners in the company’s international trade network. To date, Trans World Trading has had business linkages with at least 50 reputable Japanese organizations.
Mr. Joseph K.H. Uy served as the company’s Vice President & General Manager from 1964-1970, Executive Vice President from 1971-1974, and Chairman of the Board and President from 1974-1997 and as Chairman of the Board from 1997 to present. His vantage position in the company enabled Mr. Uy to amply demonstrate his keen interest and leadership in fostering friendly trade relations and cooperation between the Philippines and Japan. This found further expression and well-deserved recognition from the long history of his service and fruitful association with several Philippines-Japan Organizations.
Mr. Uy joined the Philippines-Japan Society upon its inception in 1972 and three years later, he was elected member of the Board of Directors. In 1985, he was elected Treasurer of the Society in addition to his position as Director. In 1988, Mr. Uy was elected Trustee of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Foundation which position he held up to 1999. He was also Treasurer and member of the Board of the Philippine Institute of Japanese Language & Culture from 1992-1998. An important highlight in his earnest efforts to boost Philippines-Japan economic relations was his designation as Chairman of the Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee (PHILJEC) from 1988 to 1990. In 1988, Mr. Uy successfully organized the biggest PHILJEC delegation to Tokyo. It was the first to be organized after a recess of four years. In February 1990, he spearheaded the joint meeting in Manila which was also a huge success. The success of the last two PHILJEC Meetings was due principally to the personal efforts exerted by Mr. Uy who spared neither time nor money in carrying out these most important business dialogues between the Philippines and Japan. Having successfully put back PHILJEC on the right track, he graciously stepped down from the chairmanship to give others the chance to contribute their just share in the promotion of Philippines-Japan business relations.
In the annual Philippines-Japan Friendship Celebration, Mr. Uy was the Co-Chairman in 1982-1985 and later as Chairman in 1986 to 1995 for the Committee in Charge of the Golf Tournament. In addition, he has hosted from time to time, golf games between Filipinos and Japanese as continuing effort towards the achievement of this laudable objective. Meanwhile, Mr. Uy also developed intimate relations with the Japanese beyond business partnership. In fact, some of them told him in jest that they will trust him in all their business dealings but never in the golf course.
Mr. Uy’s sincere efforts through the years to promote friendly relations between and among nations through business endeavors did not go unrecognized. In 1968, Mr. Uy was given the “Commendatore” award by the Italian government in recognition of efforts made toward Philippines-Italian trade.
In May 1991, Mr. Uy was conferred by the Emperor of Japan the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, one of Japan’s most prestigious decorations. He was cited for his “meritorious services and significant contribution in promoting friendly relations between Japan and the Philippines….” Mr. Uy has since continued to be actively involved in various ways in promoting friendly cooperation between the Philippines and Japan.
Through its expanding international trade network, Trans World Trading Co., Inc. contributes its share in promoting friendship and understanding among peoples of the world, a commitment inspired by Mr. Joseph K.H. Uy.
In acknowledgement of the aforesaid achievements, the Philippines-Japan Society proudly confers upon Mr. Joseph K.H. Uy, the 27th Philippines-Japan Society Medal of Merit, the highest award within its gift, for his life and work as business leader.
Given this 25th day of February in the year of our Lord Two Thousand Five in Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines on the occasion of the 27th Philippines-Japan friendship Celebration, and the 33rd year of the Philippines-Japan Society.
FRANCIS C. LAUREL
BENJAMIN C. LAUREL