Finnish businessmen eye investments in Philippines

Posted at 02/05/14 6:28 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Finnish businessmen are looking at business opportunities in the Philippines, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

A Finnish delegation, led Mikko Mursula, chief executive officer of FIM Asset Management, recently visited the country. The delegation included executives of Finnish pension and life insurance firms and investment service providers.

DTI Undersecretary Ponciano C. Manalo, Jr. said the 7-member Finnish business delegation was the first such group to visit the Philippines.

Every year, Mursula's group of institutional investors pick countries where they intend to invest. For this year, they chose the Philippines and Hong Kong.

“It was sort of an easy decision to link the Philippines in our agenda,” said Mursula, as quoted in a DTI statement. "We read a lot about the Philippines before coming here. We know the basic facts. And now we just want to see if facts are there and what are the future plans. And if the Philippines has the capacity to do all the investments that are needed to keep the economy going."

The Philippine economy's strong growth and young population are the top factors that attracted the Finnish businessmen to the Philippines.

Aside from the stock exchange, business process outsourcing and infrastructure sectors, the Finnish businessmen are also looking at investing in companies that can cater to the strong consumer demand of the more than 100 million Filipinos.

However, Mursula said the visit is a fact-finding trip, and the investors have yet to decide how much they would allocate in the Philippines for the long term.