Japanese firms positive on ASEAN economy, survey says
By Minerva BC Newman
Cebu City (7 February) -- An economic survey revealed that Japanese firms and affiliates had positive outlook about the economic conditions in the 12 countries in East Asia where most of these companies and affiliates are operating.
The survey was conducted by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) with 732 respondents covering five ASEAN countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand including China, Hongkong, Republic of Korea and Taiwan.
CEOs of these Japanese companies surveyed said, the ASEAN region is backed up by the favorable economic conditions in Indonesia and Singapore hence, a more positive business sentiments are generated by these countries.
However, JETRO said that there are also companies that remained depressed in China and North Asia, as firms in Taiwan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) reported declining sentiment in January. The overall current business sentiment for the five ASEAN countries has improved in January with positive index rise of 1.5 points and continues to gain for the first time in 14 months. Indonesia also posed its index return to positive territory for the first time in 15 months due to its continued recovery in domestic demand for electronics and transport equipment.
In similar developments, Japan bared its fresh grant contribution for comprehensive economic partnership cooperation between Japan and ASEAN. Japan ís Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced this information to media during his meeting with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, in Manila in December 2006.
Mr Abe said, Japan would provide US$ 52-Million of fresh grant contribution for ASEAN to support the associationís integration efforts through the promotion of an economic partnership with other dialog partners, particularly Japan.
Meanwhile, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is determined to sustain the countryís economic boom this year and called on recently the free market to be her partner in nation building and further economic growth. In her message at the follow-on stock offering recently of some 3.7 billion shares of property developer Filinvest Land Inc. at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) in Makati City, the President said the market must be allowed to drive income while the government is working on the social programs that would respond to the basic needs of the Filipinos. (PIA-Cebu) [top]