Banzai! She’s OK mate.
Japanese companies are returning to Singapore at the levels before the global financial crisis, as look to tap growth opportunities in Southeast Asia reported MediaCorp recently, shortly after this
According to the Japanese Embassy in Singapore, it says, businesses are gradually returning as the region recovers from the crisis and as the strengthening yen adds to their potential investment ambitions.
Primarily, though, it is the growing economies of South-east Asia which are a major draw that many companies, said Mr ShinichiOnishi, Counsellor at the Japanese Embassy.
“Many Japanese companies like to have their headquarters in Singapore, so they can cover the South-east Asian region. There are many big markets around Singapore, such as Indonesia, and the country is a convenient base said Mr Onishi.
Figures provided by the embassy show that 760 Japanese companies had operations here last year, up from 729 in 2007 and 719 in 2008, when the global financial crisis was starting to cause chaos and many foreign companies were forced to pull back fromthe region.
At the same time, the number of Japanese citizens based here is on the increase: Last year, more than 31,000 Japanese citizens were living in Singapore, up from 25,969 in 2007, according to embassy figures.
Design and architecture firm Nikken Sekkei was one such company. It returned to S’pore earlier this year, after leaving in the early 2000s because of an economic slowdown. It has gradually been expanding in the region following the financial crisis, said its Senior Executive Officer Akihiko Hamada. He said it decided to pick Singapore as it is easy to serve neighbouring countries from here and it was already familiar with S’pore.
“We wanted to set up a regional officeto serve the ASEAN region, because of its prospective marvellous economic growth and its large populationof 600 million people. In the next 10 years, there is also an anticipatedinvestment growth in real estate. Aftersome extensive research, we decidedto establish ourselves in Singapore.”
He added that talent is also readily here. Apparently, we got positive and earnest workforce. And presumably the FT policy helps.
This influx has made its impact felt on the Singapore economy. Figures provided by the Economic Development Board (EDB) show that Japan accounted for S$0.6 billion (7.2 per cent) in Total Business Expenditure and S$0.7 billion (5.5 per cent) in Fixed Asset Investments last year.
BTW1, GM has relocated its Asia Pac (ex China) HQ here late last yr ’cause of its thrust into Asean (think Indonesia, it has manufacturing facilities in Thailand) and India. It was AP HQ until it moved to Shanghai in the early noughties.
BTW2, Oz retail giant Cotton On Group yesterday announced the opening of its Asia headquarters in Singapore, which will boost investment and create 200 jobs here.
The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) said that as part of the investment, the group has committed to hiring that number of people by June 2018 to drive its Asia operations.
Since its inception 23 years ago, the Cotton On Group has grown to more than 1,300 stores across nine brands in 16 countries. In 2007, the group established its first store in Asia here.
Today, it has more than 160 stores throughout Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, and plans to open several hundred more in the region in the next five years, at a projected investment in excess of $100 million.
PAP must be doing something right?