PH seen still attractive to foreign investors
Despite the prolonged coronavirus pandemic, investors from Japan and Southeast Asia continue to scout for opportunities to set up new ventures in the Philippines, particularly through partnerships with local businesses.
This is according to Security Bank and MUFG Bank Ltd. (MUFG) of Japan, which jointly organized a business matching fair on July 14 to 16. The fair, which drew about 130 participants, is the third such event hosted in Manila by Security Bank and MUFG. It aims to strengthen business ties between the Philippines and other countries within the region through the MUFG network.
In this year’s fair, Security Bank and MUFG arranged 183 collaborative meetings to provide clients with an avenue to expand networks and grow their businesses despite the pandemic.
A total of 73 businesses from Japan, 33 from the Philippines, 20 from Thailand and Indonesia (through the MUFG network including strategic partnerships) participated, with several coming from the fast-moving consumer goods industry, retail sector and the food beverage industry.
Resilience amid pandemic
“We, at Security Bank, are pleased to continue our business matching fairs with MUFG. The prevailing interest of companies in these fairs not only showcases the expansive network that the MUFG connection has provided us but also shows how the Philippines continues to be resilient despite the pandemic and remains to be an attractive investment destination,” Security Bank president and chief executive officer Sanjiv Vohra said.
Foreign businesses in Japan and Southeast Asia are seen remaining bullish on the growth of the Philippine economy despite the global health crisis. Noting how investors see the Philippines’ strong labor force as a key driver for foreign direct investments, Security Bank and MUFG are optimistic that businesses can capitalize on this positive economic outlook through the business matching fair.
Takeshi Hashida, managing director and country head for MUFG Bank-Manila Branch, said:
“During these unprecedented times, we all have to embrace new ways of doing business and engaging with our clients. This virtual networking session is a continuation of the efforts between MUFG and Security Bank to proactively work with our customers to explore growth opportunities and build greater resilience into their businesses.”
“It is certainly encouraging to see the positive response to this latest networking fair, which goes to show how important the Philippine market continues to be for Japanese corporations,” he added.
This year marked the fifth anniversary of MUFG and Security Bank’s strategic partnership. In 2016, MUFG infused P36.9 billion in fresh capital into Security Bank in exchange for a 20-percent stake.
One of the participants at the business fair was Sanyo Foods Co. Ltd., Japan’s leading manufacturer of pouch instant noodles. Sanyo is seeking partnership with local firms to bring the Sapporo Ichiban brand to the local market.
Marine product distributor Iyosui Co. Ltd., another participant, said it would like to enter the local market by exporting its fresh and frozen fish products.
Following a rigorous screening process, Security Bank and MUFG identified clients that complement each other’s goals and needs, hopeful that the business matching fair will continue to strengthen trade relations between the Philippines, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. INQ