Posts tagged Japan

Japanese Road Show to discuss opportunities in ASEAN

From 25-28 April 2012, the Economic Ministers from ASEAN countries and the Secretary-General of ASEAN will attend a road show in Sendai and Tokyo, Japan, to discuss opportunities for Japanese businesses looking for new opportunities in Southeast Asia.

During the road show, the Ministers will hold dialogues with politicians, bureaucrats and business leaders, participate in symposia, tour Japanese companies and factories, and visit the sites affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Issues to be discussed include the overview and status of trade and investment in the region, and there will be a presentation on the prospects of ASEAN regional integration by the ASEAN Secretariat, ADBI and Denso International Asia, a Japanese company operating in Thailand.

The ASEAN Road Show aims at building strategic economic partnerships between Japan and ASEAN countries in public and private sectors and enhancing and promoting trade and investment in East Asia region. It is organized by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), with support from the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and Tokyo’s ASEAN-Japan Centre.

For further details, please see: ERIA

Japanese M&A activity and FDI grows in Malaysia


More companies listed on the Bursa Malaysia (Malaysian stock market) are potential acquisition targets for Japanese companies as investment continues to flow in, thanks to a strong yen and a geographic diversification drive gathers pace in Japan.

The momentum was already underway before Japan’s 11 March 2011 disasters highlighted the need for more offshore activity. Between January 2009 and July 2011 Japan was involved in 513 M&A deals worth US$14.2 billion in emerging Asia, reports The Edge Malaysia. This figure includes Chinese and Indian deals as well as those in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Focusing on Malaysia alone, however, Japanese FDI rose 537% year on year in 2010 (compared to 109% in other Southeast Asia), accounting for 12% of all foreign direct investment inflow. Japan was involved in 34% of Malaysian M&A activity.

But this activity might not be what you’d expect from Japanese deals, and is certainly different to those of the previous two decades. UOB Kay Hian Malaysia Research said it’s not the electronics and electrical sector attracting Japanese interest this time. Instead, the Japanese are looking at logistics, financial, healthcare and consumer industries, as well as heavier industries where Malaysia offers a better deal on energy and logistics costs. The research house said Japanese companies were also prepared to pay more for greater control of their acquisitions, like Asahi Group’s purchase of Malaysian bottler Permanis, and Mitsui & Co’s 30% stake in Integrated Healthcare Holdings. Companies that already trade with Japanese firms are seen as more attractive.

source & article: The Edge Malaysia

Philippines’ special economic zones expect further growth


The Philippines Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said investment in its special economic zones was worth P70 billion ($1.66 billion) as of this year. That’s a 38% growth on the previous year, and PEZA has a target of a further 10% growth this year on the back of growing confidence.

PEZA manages over 240 special economic zones across the Philippines, from areas the size of former US military bases to single buildings. PEZA-accredited zones have access to favorable investment conditions like tax holidays, relaxation of planning and other regulations, and easy access to trained staff and business services. The zones are aimed at export industries, usually in manufacturing or technology.

Initially popular in China and India, other countries have seen the benefits and zones with special economic conditions now operate in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand. Trade bodies like JETRO in Japan routinely conduct surveys into special zones in different countries and supply the information to potential investors.

PEZA director-general Lilia De Lima said the Philippines had a healthy supply of qualified engineers and remained cost-competitive compared to other free zones in Asia. The zones had created 790,831 new Filipino jobs, up 17.7% on last year’s figures.

source & article:

AirAsia, ANA join to form new budget airline in Japan


Asia’s most booming airline is teaming up with one of its strugglers to hopefully produce profit: AirAsia Japan, a subsidiary owned by All Nippon Airways (ANA) will become the first low-cost carrier to fly out of Narita International Airport near Tokyo by August 2012.

The announcement was something of a surprise, since AirAsia X began flying out of Tokyo’s second international airport, Haneda, just this year and ANA also announced its own budget airline venture, Peach Aviation, in May. AirAsia X will continue to operate from Haneda for the foreseeable future, while Peach will be based at Kansai International Airport near Osaka and serve mainly the domestic market.

Even so, the move is an interesting one given the dramatic drop in tourist inflows to Japan after the March 11 disasters and a reluctance among Japanese to spend on luxuries like travel in the face of national hardship. Japan’s other major traditional carrier, Japan Airlines (JAL) has repeatedly flirted with bankruptcy over the past few years and home-grown domestic carriers have struggled to offer the kind of discounts seen in other countries, given Japan’s high landing fees and manpower costs.

AirAsia’s CEO Tony Fernandes remained confident his airline could do better, saying enhanced links in travel and tourism would boost economic ties between East and Southeast Asia and produce growth. ANA will hold a 67% share in AirAsia Japan, with plans to fly domestic routes and longer-haul services to South Korea and Taiwan.

source & article:

Selling to Japan is the ‘feather in the cap’: Malcorp CEO


Malaysian auto parts manufacturers have spent years building a reputation for product build quality and supply reliability, exporting their products to several automakers around the world. Appealing to Japanese automakers, however, is another story entirely. A contract with a major manufacturer there offers lucrative rewards and increased stature, but Japanese thoroughness and taste for flawless quality present extra challenges to suppliers.

Some Malaysian companies were making inroads into the Japanese market even before the 11 March disasters in Tohoku damaged supply chains. The two countries signed a five year Economic Partnership agreement in 2006, with an auto industry component providing a skills training center in Malaysia and a number of trade shows.



Since March, many Japanese companies have expressed a desire to diversify their risks by teaming up with manufacturers in other Asian companies and Malaysia has found itself in a prime position. Trade agencies JETRO and MATRADE are aiding firms to find each other and achieve profitable outcomes on both sides. (more…)

Nomura optimistic on Indonesia’s progress


Japanese equities firm Nomura has released a glowing report on Indonesia through its local subsidiary there, saying “this country cannot be ignored.” Its abundant natural resources, young and large population, and decade of reforms are all factors contributing to Indonesia’s current and future prosperity.

It was Nomura Indonesia’s first research report, and the company is interested in setting up a Jakarta brokerage to capitalize on a country which “finds itself in the tail winds of some of the world’s most dynamics economies” and also expressed confidence Indonesia would attain investment-grade sovereign debt rating by the end of this year.

There were the oft-repeated calls for more spending on infrastructure and further reforms to attract investment. The report listed 10 points or ‘development signals’ which needed to happen for Indonesia to reach 8% economic growth, which included opening the service sector to foreigners, passing a land acquisition reform bill, further eradicating corruption and developing the financial sector.

source & article: the Jakarta Globe

Malaysia also appealing to Japanese SMEs


It’s not just big Japanese businesses presenting opportunities for Malaysian manufacturers. With several Japanese small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) looking to diversify risk, Malaysia is stepping up to offer an alternative location to these smaller businesses for manufacturing and data management facilities.

Again, Malaysia is interested primarily in Japanese automotive, electrical and electronics companies.

After Tohoku’s string of destructive tragedies in March, Japan’s own government has called for local firms to protect themselves by moving some functions overseas. Malaysia’s Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, Mukhriz Mahathir, said that his country offered a secure location outside earthquake danger zones and business-friendly policies.

source & article: MIDA

JETRO: Trade fair advice for ASEAN manufacturers in Japan


Malaysian and other Southeast Asian manufacturers are making themselves known in Japan, and more Japanese companies than ever are looking for overseas collaborations. International trade fairs are a fantastic opportunity to showcase a company’s offerings but adapting to each other’s business culture can make the experience more profitable, says Japan’s largest overseas trade organization.

The Japan External Trade Organization, or JETRO, has been around since 1958. Its original mission was to promote Japanese exports in overseas markets, but given radical economic shifts in Japan and elsewhere since then, its mission has broadened to include general facilitation of business understanding between Japanese companies and their overseas partners. This happens mainly through trade fairs, seminars, data-gathering, trade missions and publications. It has offices in 73 cities in every world region, of which 24 are in Asia and nine are in ASEAN countries.

JETRO offers a surprising amount of support to foreign enterprises looking to build a position in the Japanese market. For trade fairs it offers prime exhibition space and decoration, pre-arranges meetings and study tours before the fair begins, actively promotes exhibitions through the media and direct mail, and provides several interpreters.

I spoke recently to Ms. Mio Kawada, JETRO’s Director of International Trade Fairs in Japan, who in May oversaw the fifth Malaysian Auto Industry Exhibition (MAIE) in Yokohama. The expo featured 11 Malaysian manufacturers seeking export and import opportunities, OEM arrangements, technical alliances and other joint ventures with their Japanese counterparts. A glance at the Malaysian auto industry’s experience in Japan offers useful and universal pointers to other industries as well. (more…)

Japanese-Indonesian consortium wins $3.2bn power plant contract


A consortium of Japanese and Indonesian companies will spend US$3.2 billion on coal fired electricity plants in Central Java, after winning a contract with Indonesian state utility provider Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN).

The group consists of Indonesian coal miner Adaro Energy, Japanese trading house Itochu Corp and electricity company Electric Power Development Co (J-Power). News of the development comes as the Indonesian government realized a need to ‘fast-track’ efforts to add supply to PLN’s power grid. It was supposed to provide an additional 10,000 megawatts of electricity by this year, but had only added 4,000 megawatts since 2007. Indonesia’s power plants collectively supply 31,000 megawatts to the entire country.

Two new coal-fired plants in Pemalang will represent the first stage of the new efforts, producing 800-1000 megawatts. PLN wants to add 4,500 megawatts by the end of this year and another 1,000 by 2013.

Four companies had qualified to bid for the project, including one other Japanese firm. The other three were Japanese trading company Marubeni Corp, China’s largest coal producer China Shenhua Energy Company, and a consortium between China National Technical Import Corp and Guangdong Yudean Group.

source & article: The Jakarta Globe

Japan promises billions in new Malaysian investments


More good news of new Japanese investments for Malaysia as Prime Minister Najib Razak completed a short but high-level tour last week. Japanese firms have reportedly confirmed a commitment to RM3.8 billion (US$1.26 billion) in new investments between now and 2012, with another RM5.22 billion ($1.72 billion) to follow from 2013-15.

Key targets for investment are industries specializing in electrical and electronic goods, biomass, metallics and substrates used in the manufacture of hard drives. The total includes Tokuyama Corporation’s RM3.7 billion ($1.22 billion) investment in a polysilicon project in Bintulu, Sarawak state. Polysilicon is a vital ingredient in making electronics and solar photovoltaic (PV) cells.

During the tour, Najib met with Japanese Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto, held discussions with representatives of the Japan-Malaysia Economic Association (Jameca) and delivered the keynote address at the 17th Nikkei International Conference.

Matsumoto apparently asked Najib to consider Japanese firms for major Malaysian infrastructure projects arising from the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), such as the proposed Mass Rapid Transport system. He also expressed support for the new Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology, due to begin in September, and promised a special loan from his government to guarantee its success.

For its part, Malaysia has lifted a travel advisory it issued for its citizens going to Japan after the Fukushima nuclear incidents, and offered its expertise as an intermediary between Japanese firms seeking foreign investments of their own in lucrative Middle East markets.

source & article: Business Times

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