PCCI sees over 7% growth in 2014

By Louella D. Desiderio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Dec 13 2012 08:37 AM | Updated as of Dec 13 2012 04:37 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine economy may grow beyond seven percent by 2014 as firms prepare to be competitive for Southeast Asia’s move toward a unified market and as public-private partnership (PPP) projects start, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said yesterday.

“By 2014, the economy can have beyond seven percent growth,” PCCI vice chairman Donald Dee said in a press conference.

He said the higher than seven percent growth is possible by 2014 as the group expects 2013 to be the year when firms would start to be more competitive as the government comes up with a plan for industries and in preparation for the region’s unified market.

The government is currently working on the road maps to promote development of specific industries.

Apart from road maps for certain industries, the government is likewise crafting an integrated road map for manufacturing which seeks to grow the sector and increase its contribution to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Apart from an integrated road map for the manufacturing sector, the government is likewise planning to come up with a national industrialization strategy.

Dee said that apart from the plans being prepared by the government, firms have to get ready for the common Association of Southeast Asian Nations market by 2015.

The PCCI official also said the higher than seven percent growth could happen in 2014 as two to three projects under the government’s PPP are expected to be implemented next year.

PCCI president Miguel Varela said that while the group is optimistic that the strong economic growth being seen could be sustained next year, there are challenges that still need to be addressed.

“We note for a fact that while we have experienced strong investor confidence this year, we are still far off in meeting the track that our neighbors in ASEAN are currently experiencing,” he said.

He said that to contribute to policy reforms, the PCCI would strengthen its support for the growth of small enterprises and businesses be pushing for incentives and lower costs of key production inputs such as power and water.

Varela said the PCCI would push for policy consistency in implementation of laws and their interpretation through local ordinances as well as ensuring protection of rights of investors.

The group, Varela said, would continue to back significant legislation such as competition or anti-trust policies, create of a land registration administration, freedom of access to information, mining policy, creation of a Department of Information and Communications Technology, reproductive health, repeal of Common Carriers Tax and Gross Philippine Billings, and Customs Modernization.