Investvine sat down with Cris Frianeza, Secretary General of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries, to discuss the latest economic developments in the Philippines.
Where do you see the greatest job growth potential? The semiconductor and the food-processing industries account for a significant number of jobs in the manufacturing sector.
Really? Yes, several food-processing companies have not only made it big here in the country but in Asia and other parts of the world as well.
What else in manufacturing is essential? The automotive sector has been identified as crucial to sustaining the growth of the manufacturing sector in the Philippines.
How do you see the BPO sector developing? The BPO sector will continue to grow and diversify over the coming years. Aside from call centers, medical and legal transcription, back office operations of multinational firms have expanded as well. Significant growth is also projected for creative industries, animation as well as engineering and architectural designs and processes.
Lets talk property. Is the real estate market stable? The Manila property market is still on the rise and far from plateauing right now. The implementation of major tourism projects as well as the emergence of new business centers in the country will continue to spur the growth of this sector.
Manufacturing is booming now. But what else makes the Philippines an attractive hub as compared to Thailand and Indonesia? The Philippines’ advantage is its English-speaking and highly trainable manpower. Many foreign firms have recognised these traits which have influenced their decision to put up operations in the country.
President Benigno Aquino III has led the fastest economic growth the country has seen in 40 years. How do you hope foreign investors will see the Philippines now? The Philippines became known as a BPO hub and these kinds of services are something that our workforce can do well.
And what segments do you believe the Philippines can become thought leaders in? Data analytics is a low hanging fruit, engineering and architectural design services can be provided competently as well.
What is blocking the Philippines from growing these industries? [The] government will have to recalibrate its systems and workforce to conform to global standards. This will also require a partnership with the private sector. At present, we are working with the Department of Education and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority not only with regard to the K-12 programmes, but also in ensuring that industries are provided the right skills to sustain their growth.