Japanese firms operating in the Philippines intended to expand their business in the next two years, according to a survey conducted by the Japan External Trade Organisation ( JETRO ).

JETRO’s survey showed that 58.1 percent of the 148 Philippine-based Japanese firms planned to expand their operations in 2014 and 2015, while 38.5 percent among them hoped to maintain their current size and only 3.4 percent will reduce their trade in the country.

The Philippines ’ abundant workforce is cited as one of the main reasons for Japanese enterprises to further invest in the island country.

Apart from the Philippines , Japanese companies are also keen on extending their business in Northeast Asia , the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Oceania .

In Asia and Oceania , 59.8 percent of surveyed firms expressed intention to widen the scope of activities, 36.3 percent will keep their operations at the current level and 3.9 percent said they will cut down business.

More than 85 percent of the surveyed companies said high revenue growth prompted them to expand while 46.8 percent based their decision on the good prospects for promoting sales.

The survey also pointed out challenges facing Japanese enterprises in the region, including the increasing wages of workers, the growing market shares of their competitors, poor quality of the workforce and problems in quality control.-VNA