The country’s largest business organization remains upbeat over the Philippines growth prospects but has trimmed its outlook for 2015 to a range of 6.2 percent to 6.3 percent from 6.5 percent previously.
“There’s still an uptrend,” said George Barcelon, the newly-elected president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), on Monday.
The group, he told reporters, was prompted to revise its outlook given second semester uncertainties. The revised forecast falls below the government’s 7 percent to 8 percent target.
“We would still be in the 6 percent growth area,” Barcelon noted, adding that business expansions, particularly in manufacturing, would support growth.
“[M]anufacturing is looking to expand domestically. Twenty-five percent of the companies interviewed [in a recent survey]are thinking or expanding so that’s a good sign,” he claimed.
The government, he added, is doing its part by promoting the Philippines.
“So by the fact that we’re out there . . . we’re advertising ourselves on our strong points . . .
I think those are all factors that will add up to investments coming from abroad. It would be great help to us,” Barcelon said.
As the new PCCI president, Barcelon said he would be working to set the organization’s agenda for next year’s change in government.
“[A]s you know very well we have issues on port congestion, traffic, bureaucracy . . . our constituents are mostly small and medium enterprises (SMEs) so they are gravely affected, so we want to work closely with the government, streamline some of the procedures for SMEs,” he said.
“There’s a lot of work to do and we feel that it is upon us to gather ourselves, feel the pulse of our constituents, [as to]what needs to be done so that we can present it to the new government,” Barcelon added.