What new initiatives is the PCCI currently involved in?
YAO: Right now we are focused on the ASEAN integration. It is first and foremost in the agenda nowadays of the PCCI.
What will the ASEAN integration mean for business?
YAO: The ASEAN is composed of 10 countries. By December of this year, we will be like the EU. It will be one economic block, one region, no tariff, everything is duty free. And there will be free trade. Only the currencies will be different.
We are now focusing on the implications of zero tariff on some industries. We will also work on non-tariff barriers. If you can produce more efficiently than those in other ASEAN countries, then you’ll be competitive and be able to maximize benefits from this regional grouping of 600 million consumers.
What types of businesses or companies are you currently targeting to bring to the Philippines?
YAO: The PCCI is inviting companies from all non-ASEAN countries to put up manufacturing plants here, and use the Philippines as a hub to export to the ASEAN counties. As I said, ASEAN has a 600 million population. These investors can utilize the Philippines as a hub and bring in technology. We are fast learners. We have an abundance of skilled human resources.
The PCCI is considered by the government as the voice of industry, and I would like to take this opportunity to invite investors to come here. Our laws are very clear, and they will be well-protected. 100% ownership by foreigners is allowed. This is the best time to come in. Don’t be late, grab the opportunity.
How competitive is the Philippines in terms of economic growth and business climate?
YAO: For the past 5-6 years, we have experienced a steady GDP growth of 6 to 7%, second to China. The investment climate is conducive. As businessmen, we are very optimistic about the future of the Philippines.
I think as far as the business climate is concerned, we are very competitive. We have abundant skilled human resources and we’re an English speaking country. Our people are very talented, fast learners, and willing to learn. Though power costs are an issue, local industries are very competitive.
The GDP growth will continue even during the next administration. The way I look at it, 5-6% is not a problem.
Which economic sectors are performing well at the moment? In which areas does the Philippines remain competitive?
YAO: The Philippine economy is consumer-driven. Manufacturing is steadily recovering. Garments is a viable industry here. However, we were overtaken by countries like Bangladesh because of pricing.
Vietnam: Manufacturing to remain the key driver of growth
We expect robust exports, led by strong global demand for electronics, to continue to underpin solid economic growth over the remainder of this year with GDP forecast to rise close to 8%.
GDP growth was unchanged at 4.5% y/y in Q1. Manufacturing activity surged, while the recovery in service sector activity and construction continued albeit at a more subdued pace as some localised social distancing measures were reinstated.
Vietnam Lao Cai popularises Sa Pa-Fansipan tourism trademark
The Indonesia-Singapore Bilateral Investment Treaty Comes into Effect
Through the upgraded DTAA, the tax rate on branch profits was reduced from 15 to 10 percent, and the tax rate on royalties for copyrighted works of literature, arts, and film, and eight percent for the use of industrial, scientific, or commercial equipment was lowered from 15 to 10 percent.
Subscribe via Email
3 Reasons to Be Optimistic About the Baht Right Now
Probably one of the most important factors for the rise of the Baht is the continued weakness of the US...
Will Thailand’s plan for quarantine-free tourism set a global trend?
According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the quarantine-exemption measures implemented in Phuket will be extended to five other key...
Thailand Approves Latest Economic Relief Package for Businesses
Some 250 billion baht (US$8 billion) was allocated for soft loans while the remaining 100 billion baht (US$3.2 billion) will...
Southeast Asia remains a hot spot for plastic pollution
The use of plastics is deeply embedded in our daily lives, in everything from grocery bags and cutlery to water...
Thailand BOI approves Biotech Projects Worth 2.4 Bln Baht ($78 million)
The biotechnology sector is part of the so-called BCG model (Bio, Circular and Green economy) which the Thai government has...
Diamonds are forever but “James Bond Island” in Phang Nga Bay may not
Thailand’s Department of Mineral Resources will assess the stability of the limestone karst towers, which make up the chain of...