Global CEOs still have high hopes for China

Chrisee Dela Paz
Global CEOs still have high hopes for China
China will still remain as one of the most important capital markets in the world, says the chairman of Japan's ORIX Corporation

MANILA, Philippines – Some of the world’s corporate giants, like the Singapore-based Tee Yih Jia Group and Japan’s ORIX Corporation, are sticking with their bets on China, looking past the mainland’s stock market volatility.

“People are very conscious about China. The country has been growing for several years, and an economic slowdown is inevitable. But I think China will be better in the coming years,” ORIX Senior Chairman Yoshihiko Miyauchi told the audience at Forbes Global CEO Conference 2015.

“In the long term, I think the prospects of (China’s) economy is pretty good,” he said, adding that the country will still remain as one of the most important capital markets in the world. 

Miyauchi said China is not the only country hurdling an economic slowdown these days.

“For Japan, its economy is shaking because of the aging society, and at the same time, shortage of labor force and declining population,” he said.

According to ORIX’s latest annual financial report, “concerns over recent declines and volatility of China’s stock market and the Greece’s debt crisis and improved economic outlook among developed countries create uneven economic landscapes among different economies.”

Slowdown is normal for big economies

Sam Goi, executive chairman of Singaporean frozen foods manufacturer Tee Yih Jia Group, is optimistic that that the world’s second biggest economy can maintain its expansion rate of 6% in the next decades.

“The momentum can come from China’s consumption market, which continues to grow, because of its very big market, about a billion population,” the Tee Yih Jia executive said, adding that it has a manufacturing facility in China.

“Our company now is present in 75 countries. In investing, you should observe the development of the country. And the development of a country is its political stability,” Goi said.

He added that political chaos in a market is normal, and investors should help one another through partnerships to succeed in a particular market.

“Politics is not very stable; there are a lot of changes in regimes of the government. This has been an issue in the past two years. There are a lot of differences between countries. Because of this, entrepreneurs should be united. We can do something which is win-win for everybody. We need to help one another to create a win-win situation,” Goi said. 

Find the right market

But for some corporations like Manila-based ports operator International Container Terminal Services, Incorporated (ICTSI), the strategy is to find the right market where you will be the benchmark of a particular sector.

ICTSI chairman and president Enrique K. Razon Jr said during the conference that he is very bullish on investment opportunities in Iran, Congo, and Cambodia.

“Iran has the young population and [the] largest oil producing country,” he said.

“We’re taking a very long term view. We’ve learned from past experience. It’s okay to say that if you make investment in bad places right now, over time, you’ll gain without competition,” Razon added.

With this method, Razon said an investor may “own the market” in the years ahead.

But due to the “not very good” environment in the global economy at present, Razon said investors should be careful in markets they want to enter.

“I think [the economy at present is] not very good globally. In spite of that, markets continue to go up. This is triggered by liquidity and retained interest rates. [But one] should be extra selective in putting your money. You should find value in this market; to make money in this market,” the ports magnate said.

Razon also controls casino and leisure firm Bloomberry Resorts Corporation, which operates integrated resorts and gaming complex Solaire Resort & Casino, the venue of this year’s Forbes Global CEO Conference. –

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