CEBU CITY: The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meet in Cebu City is expected to raise investor interest in Central Visayas and generate employment.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Gov. Diwa Guinigundo said the arrival of foreign delegates will hopefully translate to more investments pouring into the region.
“A lot of foreign guests are around. There will be spending so that will be a boost to tourism, boost local economy, and hopefully that would bring in more visitors and tourists,” said Guinigundo in a press briefing.
“I hope that when they see that Cebu is more than promising, these people, instead of being just tourists, will start to invest in Cebu,” he said.
Should this happen, the BSP official is hopeful that the region will start seeing a lower unemployment rate next year.
BSP has reported an increase in the unemployment rate in Central Visayas, from 5.9 percent in 2014 to 6.3 percent by April 2015.
The APEC meetings in Cebu kicked off on August 22, 2015 and will run until September 11.
At least 2,000 delegates from APEC member-economies are expected to arrive in Cebu during the meetings.
Guinigundo points to weather as one of the factors that could have played a role behind the increased unemployment rate.
“The impact of weather in the region, whenever you have serious development in weather, this will cause disruptions in normal business transactions,” he said.
The Philippine government aims to pursue the Boracay Action Agenda or a program aimed at focusing on a wider participation of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in global and regional trade during the 3rd APEC Senior Officials Meeting (SOM3) set for August 22 to September 6.
“Our work is far from over. We need to be in concert with APEC member economies in carrying out the Agenda’s objectives of globalizing MSMEs while pursuing the expansion of our partnerships and programs with industry stakeholders on the local front,” Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary Ceferino Rodolfo said.
The national government is also spearheading discussions on services that cover activities such as telecommunications, e-commerce, transportation, finance and banking and engineering.
“This year’s hosting gives prominence to services given the sector’s potential and large share in the growth of the region. Currently, it accounts for 66 percent of the combined GDP of APEC economies,” said Deputy Director-General Emmanuel Esguerra, head of the Philippine delegation to the third Senior Officials’ Meeting.
“The services sector is particularly important for the Philippines because it is where we have a comparative advantage. In 2014, services accounted for 56.7 percent of our country’s GDP and 53.6 percent to total employment,” he added.