Philippines, Vietnam favorite investment sites in Asia — Nikkei Weekly

May. 22, 2007

TOKYO, Japan The Philippines, along with Vietnam, is a new favorite investment site in Asia, according to the prestigious Nikkei Weekly, the flagship publication of Nikkei Inc. and the primary source of business information for top executives and decision-makers here.

Philippine Ambassador to Japan Domingo Siazon Jr. revealed this in a press briefing Tuesday morning, just hours before the arrival here of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who has been invited as guest of honor for this years 13th Nikkei Conference on the Future of Asia.

The President, according to Siazon, was invited for her effective leadership and policy that put the Philippine economy back on its feet.

In its May 21, 2007 special issue, Nikkei Weekly cited the Philippines and Vietnam as the new investment sites favored by both local and foreign investors.

Siazon said Nikkei Weekly based its report on the performance and achievements of the Philippine economy over the last six years under the leadership of President Arroyo.

He noted that from 2001 to 2006, the Philippine economy stabilized and grew by about 4.37 percent annually, the countrys best six-year average in the previous 18 years.

In the case of the Philippines, the report pointed out that the signs of regional consumption turning robust came when the SM Group, the largest retailer in the country, opened the Mall of Asia, the biggest shopping center in the country with a total floor space of 400,000 square meters.

The sprawling mall houses some 750 retailers offering a wide array of consumer products from around the region.

Siazon said Vietnam is similarly readying itself to whet the growing appetite for consumption, with Lotte Group, South Koreas retail giant, planning to open a shopping center in Ho Chi Minh City next year.

This trend, Siazon said, is yet another sign of the regions increasingly affluent middle class showing a growing preference for made-in-Asia products.

Nikkei Weekly is Japans only English language business newspaper and one of the newspapers of Nikkei Inc. established in 1876. Other papers of Nikkei are the Nikkei Business Daily, the Nikkei Financial Daily and the Nikkei Marketing Journal.

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