The Philippines may improve its standing in the global competitiveness surveys if the government would focus on the country's seven industries with high growth potential. This in essence was the message of officers of Joint Foreign Chamber of the Philippines (JFC) to the leaders of League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) in a dialogue between the two groups on Aug 12, 2011 at the Discovery Suites.
According to John D. Forbes, senior adviser to the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham) and author of Arangkada Philippines 2010: A Business Perspective, these booming sectors are: agribusiness. information technology, business process outsourcing, creative industries, infrastructure, manufacturing and logistics, mining, and tourism, medical travel and retirement, the last two of which have direct bearing on the country's local government units.
Aside from Forbes, JFC was represented by Jeffrey Woodruff, executive director of AmCham; Graham Gulliver and Peter Wallace, treasurer and director respectively of the Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce; Julian Payne, president of Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Henry Schumacher, executive vice president of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and Nobuo Fujii, vice president of the Japan Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.
While being receptive of potential economic gains that these sectors may generate in the local level, the provincial governors present in the free flowing discourse however voiced their concerns on the mining industry especially its effect on the ecosystem and revenue sharing scheme between the national and local governments.
Oriental Mindoro Gov. Alfonso Umali, whose province has a standing 25-year moratorium on mining expressed apprehensions on the impact of mining activities on the environment, cited the mining related tragedy that struck the province of Marinduquein 1996.
Meanwhile Albay Gov. Joey Salceda stated his reservations on the revenue sharing scheme between the national and local governments on taxes paid by mining companies.
Other provincial league officials present during the meeting were LPP Chairman and Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis "Chavit" Singson and LPP secretary-general and Occidental Mindoro Gov. Josephine Sato who invited the investors to visit and invest in her province.
Recognizing the need for further cooperation and understanding between the local government units and foreign investors the two groups agreed to hold more discussions in the future.
Source: Malaya; Business; 02 September 2011