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The Best of Both Worlds

Japanese ingenuity merges with Filipino creativity for quality economic housing

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By Johannes L. Chua

 Japan is known for its technology and innovation. Our country, on the other hand, is known for its creativity and hospitality. Taking the best of two countries with a storied history and mutual partnership as seen in the close ties between President Rodrigo Duterte and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, then only goodand fruitfulthings can happen.

TIMELY PARTNERSHIP Executives and team members of MCDC, Kyushu Yaesu, and AMAL gather at joint venture signing ceremony.

TIMELY PARTNERSHIP Executives and team members of MCDC, Kyushu Yaesu, and AMAL gather at joint venture signing ceremony

This is perhaps the reason why two real estate companies, who are from different lands and cultures, decided to rely on each other’s strengths and form a new partnership.  These two companies, Manila-based Malate Construction and Development Corp. (MCDC) and Fukuoka-based Kyushu Yaesu, met at a time when both of them needed one another.

MCDC was looking for a partner to expand its portfolio all over the country. Meanwhile, Kyushu was finding ways to expand its footprint in the Southeast Asian region and was looking at the Philippines due to its robust economy driven by government spending on infrastructure and rise in housing demand. It took one company, Asian Mergers & Acquisitions Link (AMAL), to join them together.

AMAL, headed by its founder and CEO Hideki Tanifuji, established its roots in the Philippines in 2015.  In just a few years, it was able to become one of the top companies in the field of mergers and acquisitions, expanding its list of clients especially in the real estate industry.  Tanifuji knew of Kyushu Yaesu’s intention and expertise in economic housing in Japan. Through due diligence, Tanifuji’s growing team found that MCDC was in need of a reliable partner to fully realize its potentials.  Tanifuji became the ‘bridge’ that linked these two companies together. After that, the rest is history and it started with a formal joint venture signing agreement held last month.

During the event, both companies announced that they will already start with a 1,700-home project located in Candelaria, Quezon province. MCDC will leverage on Kyushu’s technological home-building expertise, while Kyushu will rely on MCDC’s knowledge of the terrain and understanding of the Filipino homebuyer – that one who will ultimately benefit from this partnership.

In a statement, Giovanni J. Olivares, president and CEO of MCDC, expressed “delight with the partnership with Kyushu Yaesu since it is built on trust.”

“We hope that our relationship will be very harmonious, just like ‘Reiwa’ or beautiful harmony, which characterizes the era of the new Japanese Emperor,” Olivares says.

On the part of Kyushu Yaesu, they felt the partnership with MCDC is perfect. “In Japan, we are known for our quality homes sold at affordable prices for more than 40 years and this is also the same with MCDC which has a solid track record for 30 years,” says Hisao Nakashima, EVP of Kyushu Yaesu.

With this auspicious partnership, AMAL was instrumental in filling the gap between the two companies, making proper arrangements while observing cultural sensitivities.   

“We are connecting two companies from different countries. We provided advisory services and assistance throughout the entire process. After assessment and evaluation of Kyushu Yaesu’s needs, we matched them with a Filipino company that has similar corporate goals and objectives,” says Tanifuji.

“AMAL was very professional. It was a key adviser in making this partnership push through. I don’t think we can find an ideal partner for our expansion without AMAL,” reveals Olivares.  “They were very helpful so we were able to earn the trust and confidence of Kyushu Yaesu.”

 Aside from the Candelaria project which will provide quality, affordable homes for more than a thousand families, both companies are looking at various provinces to build their next projects such as townhouses and villages.   

“AMAL envisions that this project will not only show a successful partnership but also will help enhance the quality and expose our local industry to the best technological practices of Japanese real estate companies,” says Tanifuji.  “At the same time, we want to also show foreign companies that the Philippine economyspecifically the real estate industryis booming and it is a good time to invest or partner with a local company.”

At this stage, AMAL has exhibited growth as it now has over 100 employees. Aside from its main office in Bonifacio Technology Center, it has expanded its operations in Cebu. It has also recently launched subsidiaries in Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan to cater to the booming Asian market. 

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