Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, investors from Japan and Southeast Asia continue to look for new opportunities in the Philippines, particularly through partnerships with local businesses.

This is according to Japan’s Security Bank and MUFG Bank Ltd. (MUFG), which organized a business matching fair from July 14 to 16. The fair, which drew about 130 people, is Security Bank and MUFG’s third such event in Manila. Through the MUFG network, it aims to strengthen business ties between the Philippines and other countries in the region.

Despite the pandemic, Security Bank and MUFG organized 183 collaborative meetings at this year’s fair to provide clients with an opportunity to expand networks and grow their businesses.

A total of 73 companies from Japan, 33 from the Philippines, and 20 from Thailand and Indonesia (via the MUFG network and strategic partnerships) took part, with several from the fast-moving consumer goods, retail, and food beverage industries.

Despite the global health crisis, foreign businesses in Japan and Southeast Asia are still optimistic about the Philippine economy’s growth. Security Bank and MUFG are optimistic that businesses will be able to capitalize on the Philippines’ strong labor force through the business matching fair, citing how investors see the Philippines’ strong labor force as a key driver for foreign direct investments.

Takeshi Hashida, managing director and country head for MUFG Bank-Manila Branch, said:

“During these unprecedented times, we all have to embrace new ways of doing business and engaging with our clients. This virtual networking session is a continuation of the efforts between MUFG and Security Bank to proactively work with our customers to explore growth opportunities and build greater resilience into their businesses,” said Takeshi Hashida, managing director and country head for MUFG Bank-Manila Branch.