It’s been hinted before that Southeast Asian economies might benefit from Japanese investors and manufacturers looking to diversify their interests after March’s disasters. Apparently many are traveling to the Philippines on fact-finding missions, attracted by the country’s prices, proximity to Japan and a skilled, English-speaking workforce.

Many Japanese companies already have a presence in the Philippines and it’s long been a popular destination for Japanese tourists. Local tourism bodies plus trade and investment boards should capitalize on the opportunity to attract Japanese investment that would otherwise go to countries like Vietnam or Thailand, said a government official.

This includes hundreds of small and medium sized enterprises in the northeastern Tohoku region that were completely wiped out by March’s tsunami, as well as others whose operations were damaged but were seeking to hedge against any similar future disasters. Sergio Ortez-Luis Jr, head of the Philippines Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI), said if the Philippines could promote itself as a safe and attractive tourist destination for Japanese, then investment would follow.

source & article: Philippines Daily Inquirer