The Philippines should not simply focus on electronics and business process outsourcing but other sectors as well, especially manufacturing, to attain inclusive growth, Haruhiko Kuroda, president of the Asian Development Bank said Wednesday.
“Philippines needs to diversify… and build a strong manufacturing sector,” Kuroda told the media, Philippine officials and guests at the opening of the Philippine Corporate and Investment Pavilion, established by country-host this week to mark the 45th ADB Board of Governors’ annual meeting.
“The BPO industry has been remarkable and it has been moving up the value chain. Also, electronics comprised the bulk of exports in the past years. But manufacturing-based industries would create more jobs for the attainment of inclusive growth,” Kuroda said.
A strong manufacturing sector, coupled with exports to emerging markets outside of the Southeast Asian region, would be good for the Philippines, the ADB president pointed out.
The country will continue to attract more foreign investments, “because it is one of the most attractive sites in the region,” but it needs to continue addressing a number of constraints, including poor infrastructure and weak business environment, Kuroda said.
On that note Kuroda pointed out the public-private partnership program offers solutions to problems in infrastructure.
In his opening speech, Vice President Jejomar Binay cited Philippine economic gains and the country’s status as the world’s top exporter of agriculture products and the fifth largest fish producer.
Binay pointed out: “The Philippines is number one in voice and second in non-voice outsourcing services [worldwide]. The local business process outsourcing industry is projecting $25 billion in revenues and 1.3 million jobs by 2016.”