Business

60% of firms target Asia, Oceania

Kyodo

Nearly 60 percent of Japanese companies operating in Asia and Oceania say they plan to expand in the region within the next few years, according to a survey by the Japan External Trade Organization.

The ratio of companies aiming for expansion grew 2.0 points from the previous year to 59.8 percent, the government-linked body said.

The poll, conducted in October and November, drew responses from 4,561 firms.

Meanwhile, about 70 percent of the companies said they see rising wages as the biggest problem for their business, with the rate particularly high at 87.5 percent in Indonesia and 85.3 percent in China.

On average, a double-digit pay scale increase from the previous year was logged in 2013 in Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Vietnam, India and Bangladesh, JETRO said.

A JETRO official said Japanese companies operating in China and other countries have introduced labor-saving automation to avoid a negative impact from wage increases.

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