2 big Japan investment missions coming
from July 15, 2014 04:00 pm to July 15, 2014 04:00 pm
Plan relocation due to rising China labor cost, political tension
By Amy R. Remo |Philippine Daily Inquirer12:58 am | Monday, July 14th, 2014
Despite perceived difficulties in doing business in the Philippines, officials of as many as 80 large Japanese enterprises will be arriving in the country in September to scout for investment opportunities in key sectors such as manufacturing, banking, energy and infrastructure.
A worker assembles a new IH cooking heater on cellular manufacturing at Japan’s Hitachi Appliances, Inc. Taga Works in Hitachi, about 150 km east of Tokyo on March 19, 2013. AFP
Tetsuo Tomino, president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines Inc. (JCCIPI), said two big business delegations were being organized by the Keidanren (Japanese business federation) and the Kansai Economic Federation (Kankeiren). Each group will bring in officials of 30 to 40 member-companies to the Philippines.
Tomino said the Kankeiren was comprised of companies coming from the Osaka region. The group, based on data from its website, has about 1,400 members.
The Keidanren, on the other hand, is the biggest federation of Japanese companies in Japan. As of March 31, the group’s members included 1,308 companies, 114 nationwide industrial associations and 47 regional economic organizations.
“Many big Japanese enterprises already have factories and offices in China. But with Chinese labor cost increasing, and as the political relationship between Japan and China is not so good, these companies are now looking to spread their manufacturing facilities or office functions to the Asean area,” Tomino explained.
“Of course most big enterprises already have offices in Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. Some also have in the Philippines but these manufacturers are [considering] to make their manufacturing facilities here to be bigger. Some want to expand, maybe double or triple the existing capacity. If that happens, jobs will also increase and they will hire more people. The image of the Philippines in Japan is becoming better so many managers are wanting to come here to see how the Philippines have changed,” he added.
According to Tomino, the Philippines has a number of strong points that would encourage more Japanese companies to consider setting up facilities here. He noted that the Philippines has a young population and an abundant English-proficient labor force.
Among the member-nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Philippines is closest to Japan.