Japanese companies urged to look to ASEAN's 600 million people

The 10 ASEAN member countries have much potential to offer to investors despite the craze about China, as the region is generating higher profits for Japanese companies than China.

For 2009, profits from Japanese companies remitted to Japan from China totalled 587 billion yen while those from Asean (excluding Brunei, Burma and Cambodia) were 757.8 billion yen.

"What does that say? It says that the 600 million people and 10 economies have tremendous potential and still have tremendous opportunities for Japanese companies to be established or to be relocated," ASEAN secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan, told the Bangkok Post (Thailand).

East Asia and ASEAN have been given a role as the centre connecting the region, Dr Surin said at the recent "Future of Asia" conference in Tokyo.