RP needs to develop ‘7 winner sectors’

Published by rudy Date posted on April 26, 2010

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines needs to pour in more investments into infrastructure projects and develop other key sectors like creative industries and tourism, medical travel and retirement, to generate $75 billion in foreign direct investments (FDI) and 10 million jobs over the next 10 years.

The Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) believes that developing the so-called seven big winners, which also include agribusiness, business process outsourcing (BPO), manufacturing and logistics, and mining, will move the Philippines far along the path to becoming a high middle-income country.

It said the efficient and modern airports and seaports are critical enablers for national competitiveness. These directly affect logistics costs for goods and associated services and impact on both domestic and international tourism.

In line with this, the group raised the need to establish one international airport in each region and increase international carrier service through reduced costs and pocket open skies starting with Palawan.

To decongest Manila gradually, it pushed for a shift of international container traffic to Batangas and Subic.

Budget should also be allocated for vital power, water, road and rail infrastructure projects.

The IFC said the country must meet conditions precedent to declaration of open access and retail competition within this year to attract investments in new cost-effective power generation projects.

Likewise, the Visayas wholesale electric spot market (WESM) has to be initiated without further delay and integrate it with Luzon WESM. The Mindanao WESM, on the other hand, should kick off no later than mid-2011.

Citing data, the group said infrastructure funding gap was estimated to reach P200 billion this year based on the required infrastructure spending at five percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). This factored a nominal GDP growth forecast at 7.2 percent.

“Provision of better infrastructure will be a major challenge for the next administration given the deficit,” the IFC said. “PPP (public-private partnership) presents opportunities to harness available resources and capacities of the private sector for infrastructure development.”

It pointed out that domestic capital market has available fund for infrastructure investment.

Moreover, the group said the country should harness its potential and become a creative goods exporter along with other developing economies.

Creative workers abound in advertising, animation, cultural exhibition and performance, mobile phone applications, music and performing arts, visual arts, among others.

Likewise, the BPO, financial services, legal services, research and development and consulting services and software development also employ knowledge workers, it said.

To develop the sector, the IFC recommended that the country stimulate its overall creative industries environment with human resources development, rebrand Philippine creative image, develop uniquely Filipino products, encourage tie-ups with large foreign firms and encourage Filipino talent to stay home as well as return home.  –Philexport News and Features (The Philippine Star)

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