'Very good' opportunities in PH, says Zobel

Posted at 05/03/2012 12:39 PM | Updated as of 05/03/2012 4:53 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Jaime Augusto Zobel, chairman of one of the country's largest conglomerates Ayala Corp., is "delighted" that the Philippines is becoming popular among investors right now.

"When the tide rises for everyone, the tide will also rise for a group like Ayala. We're just delighted that the country is popular right now and in the radar screen of investors. Anything that helps the Philippines grow will naturally help Ayala grow," he said in an interview on ANC, Thursday morning.

Asked why Filipino companies are not investing more in other Asian countries to take advantage of the growth in the region, Zobel said the opportunities are "very good" in the Philippines.

"If you look at our economy, we are very consumer demand-driven... What would be lacking is foreign direct investments.  We've had some portfolio flows. But the fact is that FDIs are mising. This is a great time for long term capital to start coming in, building it up," he said.

Growth in the Asian region will also help boost the Philippines' prospects, amid a slowdown in Europe and the United States.

Zobel noted Asia is driving much of the consumer demand that the world needs right now.

"This is a very good time for Asia... You're getting a lot more intra-regional trade in Asia... It's a wonderful way to cushion against the slow demand both in the US and Europe that's taking place at this time," he said.