Business forum to tackle raising PH competitiveness (Cebu Daily News)

The country’s top industry leaders and economic planners  will lay down  proposals in a Cebu  conference aimed at generating more employment and raising the country’s global competitiveness ranking.

The Game Changers in Philippine Competitiveness will  be held at the Marco Polo Plaza on Nov. 13 (today).

“Through the conference we hope to come up with programs that  generate more jobs especially in the manufacturing sector. More jobs mean lowering the incidence of poverty in the country,” said Gordon Alan Joseph, Cebu Business Club president during yesterday’s 888 News Forum.

Organized by the Makati Business Club and  the Cebu Business Club, the event will have as keynote speaker Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima with MBC president Ramon del Rosario opening the conference.

Joseph said both the government and the  business community could help  develop the  manufacturing sector which he said was a  vital engine for growth and a job generator  for Filipinos.

“Unlike other jobs which need a degree, the manufacturing sector only requires technical training and we have a sizable labor force,” Joseph said.

The Cebu Business Club president said China, one of two of the world’s largest labor markets, was experiencing difficulties with investors due to rising labor costs.

Aside from manufacturing, the country  needs to improve its ability to feed its population, said University of San Carlos economics professor Fernando Fajardo.

“We need to implement programs that  improve our agricultural productivity’…right now our economy may be experiencing some improvements but we are not  progressing as we should,” said Fajardo, also a Cebu Daily News columnist.

Joseph also said the conference would provide a venue for discussion on issues affecting the country’s economic development with top-notch experts in the industry, agriculture and services sectors.

The other speakers include Neda head Arsenio Balisacan, DTI head Cristino Panlilio, Asian Development Bank’s  Norio Usui.

NEDA head Balisacan, DTI head Panlilio, NCC head Bill Luz, ADB’s Norio Usui, and Magsaysay Group of Companies CEO Doris Magsaysay Ho.

“Right now (the World Bank said) the country has over a billion dollars in foreign and local investments. Compare that with Indonesia which has at least 1.5 billion dollars in investments. We need to have a game plan and identify industries that will help propel and move this country’s economy forward,” he said.

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