The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is urging more development partnership between the Philippines and other middle-income countries (MICs) toward inclusive growth.
In a statement, the NEDA said that lessons and best practices from other MICs can help the Philippines improve its poverty reduction and infrastructure programs, to achieve inclusive growth
“The variety of experiences of the MICs in dealing with inequality offers a rare opportunity for learning lessons and sharing best practices toward scaling up of programs and activities that will help achieve inclusive growth, both nationally and globally,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan during the High-Level Conference of Middle-Income Countries in San Jose, Costa Rica held last week.
Balisacan, who is also the NEDA director general, noted that in the past two decades, substantial poverty reduction was achieved in developing countries brought about by the comparatively rapid economic growth in MICs, particularly in Asia.
He added that MICs need to play a more active and unified role in forging a much improved environment for international trade, finance and technology.
The NEDA chief also said that improvement is crucial in the area of market access, especially for exports of developing countries, and access to technology.
Furthermore, Balisacan mentioned the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) schemes, which were pioneered in Latin American countries, such as Brazil’s Bolsa Familia and Mexico’s Oportunidades, have helped those countries virtually win their wars against acute poverty.
“In Southeast Asia, informed by the Latin American experiences, the Philippines has embarked on a large-scale CCT program to complement its newly acquired status as one of the fastest growing Asian countries today. We hope to reap the same benefits from this program like what the Latin American countries have done,” he said.
The NEDA chief also identified public-private partnerships (PPPs) of having the potential of augmenting the public sector’s fiscal resources, and for efficiently managing facilities that have traditionally been reserved to the public sector.
“If structured properly, PPPs can be an effective instrument for inclusive business. Here is an area where the experiences of a number of MICs, such as Malaysia, may prove useful for designing the policy and legal framework for PPPs and up-scaling it in resource-scarce developing countries,” Balisacan explained.
Also, he stressed that the potential for MICs to shape the global environment for trade is much stronger now than ever before in the history of modern commerce.
“But cooperation and collaboration is the name of the game. There is much to be gained, for instance, from the deepening of South-South partnerships in trade, finance, and technology and innovations,” Balisacan added.