Sunday, 6 June 2010

Japanese investors prefer RP and Indonesia

Over China, Vietnam as investment destinations
Manila Bulletin

The Philippines has become an attractive investment destination in southeast Asia for Japanese companies after they encountered difficulties in finding qualified manpower in China and Vietnam that made their cost of doing business in those countries already at more with the more expensive Philippines, but with readily available qualified personnel, officials from the Bank of Tokyo said.

This was relayed by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFG officials led by executive director Takashi Muraoka during a recent visit to Trade and Industry undersecretary and Board of Investments managing head Elmer C. Hernandez.

Muraoka, however, said that the Philippines has to slug it out with another Asean country Indonesia, which has also become an attractive investment destination in the region.

Hernandez said that Japanese businessmen are now training their eyes on the Philippines and Indonesia because although labor cost in China and Vietnam are lower than the Philippines, they have a big problem finding qualified manpower in these countries that they end up with higher cost that are already at par with the salary cost in the Philippines and Indonesia.

The biggest advantage of the Philippines is its huge pool of qualified manpower, Hernandez quoted Muraoka.

The Bank of Tokyo, which has been a partner of the BoI in its investment promotion together with the ASEAN-Japan Center, also said there are two ways to enhance the Philippines attractiveness as an investment destination. These are recognition by the government of the issues that have been raised by Japanese investors and what the government is doing about those concerns.

“Japan is watching closely, they are assessing if there is recognition and what the government is doing to address these issues,” Hernandez said. The Bank of Tokyo has recognized there are issues that are unique only in a particular country, Hernandez said, but what is important to them is that the government is addressing those issues.

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