Bring it on: SM ready to take on global giants
With global retail behemoths stepping up their game and expanding outside their home turf, the SM Group of bilyonaryo Henry Sy Sr. is holding its own and is ready to face international competition.
Teresita Sy-Coson, vice-chair of SM Investments Corp., which owns the country’s largest chain of shopping malls, department stores, and supermarkets, said they welcome the entry of more foreign brands into the Philippines and in fact, view this as an opportunity to evolve and grow further.
“Of course there’s always a threat. There’s always a positive and a negative side but you have to live through it,” Sy-Coson told reporters when asked to comment on the government’s plans to relax foreign ownership restrictions to attract more investments into the country.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernest M. Pernia earlier said the government was considering reducing the minimum capitalization for foreign retailers that want to set up shop in the Philippines to $200,000 from the current $2.5 million.
Coson, however, was not too keen on proposed initial investment requirement of $200,000 for foreign retailers, saying it was a bit small.
Nevertheless, she expressed confidence that local brands would keep their competitive edge because they know what the Filipino consumer wants.
Coson also noted that foreign players would more often that not partner with locals to thrive in a competitive world.
“If you can’t beat them, join them. I guess this applies to everyone. In our company, the mantra is if we cannot beat them, then join them,” she said.