• Manufacturing sets 6-yr target growth at 8-10%

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    THE government is targeting faster growth of 8 percent to 10 percent in the manufacturing sector over the next six years driven by the robust performance of the economy, a top trade official said on Monday.

    “We will try to hit the high level of about 8 percent to 10 percent as the target, because we really aim to strengthen further the manufacturing sector,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez told reporters on the sidelines of the Manufacturing Summit 2016 in Makati Shangri-La.

    “As we grow that sector, it will grow the jobs that we need… So with a more robust manufacturing [sector]we will create more jobs, plus the entrepreneurship side will also create more jobs,” Lopez said.

    The manufacturing industry grew by 6.9 percent in the third quarter of 2016, more than one percentage point higher than the 5.8 percent rate posted in the same period in 2015.

    In the first quarter, manufacturing posted a growth rate of 8 percent, the highest in seven quarters, before slowing down to 6.2 percent in the second quarter.

    Lopez noted that in the third quarter of 2016, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth stood at 7 percent, outpacing other Asian countries including China (which grew 6.7 percent), and faring higher than the average consensus forecast of 6.8 percent.

    “The recent performance has demonstrated remarkable economic resilience, owing to vigorous governance and economic reforms, as well as our continuous efforts to streamline processes and promote industrial and manufacturing resurgence,” he said.

    More importantly, Lopez said the necessary ingredients for investment and employment growth are now present in the Philippines.

    He said these include a growing domestic market with a population of over 100 million, an emerging middle class, political stability, strong macroeconomic foundation, rising consumer and business confidence, and a young, English-speaking, highly trainable workforce.

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