The Joint Foreign Chamber of the Philippines (JFC) is looking to expand the so called “winning sectors” or the focus sectors that brings in inclusive growth to the local economy to be able to grasp on other emerging sectors that can further help economic pace of the Philippines.
In a press conference during the 5th Arangkada Philippines Forum, American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham) President Rick M. Santos said that the JFC is planning on expanding the 7 winning sectors to 10 this year.
The three sectors to be added are still under evaluation, but Santos said this would be announced within the year.
The 10 winning sectors are seen to be the bright sectors that can drive the Philippine economy within or beyond targets in the next 10 years to 2026.
In spite the 6 percent to 7 percent robust growth since 2010, the JFC is urging the government to implement a plan and attain a 9 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the next three years.
At present, the seven winning sectors are: agribusiness, IT-business process management (IT-BPM), creative industries, infrastructure, manufacturing and logistics, mining, tourism, medical travel and retirement.
During the Arangkada Philippines Forum, JFC officials, and panelists from public and private sectors identified three sectors, the agribusiness, mining and tourism sectors, which are considered to be the sunshine sectors that can drive more growth to the country.
JFC officials during the briefing also lifted the importance of foreign direct investments (FDI) in driving revenues and employment opportunities that can contribute to the government’s inclusive growth goal.
Julian Payne, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (CanCham), said that to raise investments, the government should be open to reforms on the 60-40 ownership structure that favors local companies.
He said some sectors of the country have fared well, but “if you compare it with our neighbors, there’s a long way to go. We’re not getting our fair share of revenue and employment.”
“We will have that if we have significant increase in FDIs,” Payne said, citing FDIs multiplier effects such as more infrastructure investments, jobs and revenue generators that can contribute to the country’s GDP.
The JFC wants to see annual FDI over $7 billion in the next three to four years, from the current annual FDI of about $5 billion.