Business leaders are urging the government to create a broader infrastructure plan to ensure investments-led economic growth amid a pandemic.
International Container Terminal Services Inc executive vice president Christian Gonzalez said, to attract foreign investments in manufacturing, there is a need to have privatization and infrastructure program that’s driven by a broader strategy.
“Right now, in this country, infrastructure privatization is done piecemeal in isolation… Where is the masterplan of creating industrial zones in areas that are already connected to the global marketplace? Where is the masterplan to create infrastructure in places that will later become sites for industrial and commercial areas that will be meant to be connected to the global marketplace,” Gonzalez said.
“Unless we start thinking based on a broader infrastructure plan and move out of this isolated system of privatization and building infrastructure, frankly, we will not accelerate foreign investment nor manufacturing in the way we all want,” he added.
Ayala Corporation president Cezar “Bong” Consing said there is a need to look at the examples of neighboring countries on how to ensure a sustainable long-term economic growth.
“I’m tempted to look at the examples of, say, China, Korea, Japan, post-World War II. And the objective there was really to transfer resources devoted to consumption towards investment. And you might say that in many cases, they overdid it. Right. I mean, Japan adopted this beggar thy neighbor policy. And China really went extreme, right? It almost starved the consumer in on behalf of investment. But we need some of that,” Consing said.
“We need some of that because unless you have a real significant transfer of resource allocation, we will never rebuild our manufacturing sector. We are the poorest BBB+ country in the world. Yet look at consumer goods, you can find everything here. Clearly there is misbalance,” he added.
PLDT Inc. President Alfredo Panlilio also emphasized the need to attract more investments from the manufacturing industry. “Clearly, [there’s a] lack of manufacturing companies that invest in the country. If you talk about manufacturing, it’s an investment that’s long term for the country.” he explained.
Stratbase president Professor Dindo Manhit discussed the importance of how the government can create an investment environment for jobs to be created.
“Imagine if we give enough incentives to the manufacturing sector. Imagine if we really generate more tourism.
Imagine if we continue to play a role and strengthen the business process outsourcing or the KPO, knowledge processoutsourcing, as one of our exports — imagine 109 million Filipinos, who are productive, working, earning towards that end,” he explained.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual said, to ensure economic growth, one of the DTI’s strategic priorities is linking corporations with Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to develop supply and value chains in the national and global level.
MSME’s comprise 99.5% of the total number of enterprises or companies in the Philippines.