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RP, Vietnam favorite investment sites in Asia - Nikkei Weekly

TOKYO, Japan May 22 (PNA) – 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
year’s 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 country’s 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 Korea’s retail giant,
planning to open a shopping center in Ho Chi Minh City next year.

He said this trend is yet another sign of the region’s increasingly
affluent middle class showing a growing preference for made-in-Asia
products.

Nikkei Weekly is Japan’s 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. (PNA)

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