Asia in My Pocket: Investing in Manufacturing

Speakers share trade secrets and insights on how to improve business in the country

MANILA, Philippines – The Asia In My Pocket’s last session of the 4-part series last featured industry experts of Manufacturing here in the Philippines. Representatives from Nestle, IMI and OISHI gathered together to share trade secrets as well as their insights on how we can help improve business in the country. With more global companies now looking at Asia as a destination for their expansion, this discussion also shed light on the differences and similarities in doing business among Asian countries such as the Philippines, Singapore, India, China, etc.

David Findaly, Olaf Gresens and Oliver Rey-Matias

Nestle Philippines’ Technical Director Mr. David Findlay revealed that it is expected that by 2050, the Philippines will be one of the largest economies in the world. He said that Nestle, as it is already well established in the country, will continue to invest in the Philippines. He enumerated the pros and cons to doing business in the Philippines but highlighted the country’s professionals as one of the country’s greatest asset which is one of the reasons why Nestle continues to be one of the largest multinational companies in the country. He ended his talk by reminding the participants to be prepared for surprises both financial and time related, to do their homework first before investing in anything, make sure that they are up to date with tax incentives and to not assume that one can do anything retrospectively. With the diversity and potential that the country has, he said that “Everything is possible”.

The discussion was then followed by the Managing Director for Global Sales and Marketing of the Integrated Microelectronics Inc., Mr. Olaf Gresens. He discussed the growing population of Asia and what it meant to their industry. He noted that the middle class creates innovation in market economy and drives conscious consumption. He also said that improved economic conditions in Southeast Asia are drawing more electronics manufacturing in the area. Much like Mr. Findlay’s comments on the pros of investing in Asia, especially in the Philippines, Mr. Gresens further emphasized that one of the strong suits of the Philippine workforce is that there is a large educated English speaking workforce. Also, the growth of Asia specifically ASEAN brings along significant growth opportunities for their industry as there is demand and room for talent and innovation. Similarly, he said to take into consideration that staffing contributes greatly to the success of establishing operations in the Philippines.

The third speaker was Liwayway Marketing Corporation’s Vice President for Finance, Mr. Oliver Rey-Matias. Liwayway Marketing Corp., more commonly known as OISHI, has grown into one of the largest companies in the Philippines and has also made its mark in 8 different countries in Asia. After learning about the products and the different businesses that OISHI is also involved in like real estate and bringing international brands like J.Co to Manila, Mr. Matias shared three principles that contributed to the success of their company. He also highlighted the importance of learning about a country’s culture and having a local or a group of consultants help you through the process is key. He also reminded the audience, however, that some risks have to be taken into consideration and that things might require greater time and longer payback so these have to be mitigated properly.

For more information on the Asia In My Pocket series, contact