'Dutertenomics' seen to boost demand for consumer goods


Posted at May 23 2017 05:28 PM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte's P8 trillion infrastructure makeover is expected to create a multiplier effect on consumption, the head of Unilever's Philippine operations said Tuesday.

More supermarkets and convenience stores may be set up as the country's many islands get interlinked through new roads, railways, bridges and airports, Unilever Philippines chairman and CEO Benjie Yap said.

The passage of a bill that will lower personal and corporate income taxes will also encourage consumers to spend more, Yap said in an exclusive interview with ANC's The Boss.

Like its Southeast Asian peers, Indonesia and Vietnam, the Philippines has a big population and a fast-growing economy that can work to its advantage.

"This group is in a sweet spot because the economy is healthy and the long term is good. We make sure we invest in the future," he said.

Yap said Unilever was growing at a faster pace compared to the economy, which expanded by 6.4 percent in the first three months of the year.

"We are still growing healthily. We are still growing ahead of the market," he said.

Yap said the company has built "buffers" against creeping inflation and products are made to "delight" consumers so they could absorb potential price increases.

"We're seeing that consumers are still accepting our brands," he said.