PH ready to adopt China’s manufacturing runaways
THE PHILIPPINE economy remains poised to sustain a growth of at least 6 percent this year despite the economic slowdown in China and the existing geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, according to the head of the country’s largest business organization.
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry president George T. Barcelon said the country’s stable macroeconomic fundamentals and strong domestic consumption would help ease the impact of global developments on the local economy.
Rather than a bane for domestic enterprises, the slowdown in the Chinese economy could position the Philippines as a viable, alternative hub for trade and investments. “One of the concerns is that China is such a big market player and lately, (it has) been having some difficulties. But the long and short of it is that we are well positioned to maintain the growth, provided that the Middle East issue would not escalate,” he said.
Barcelon conceded there was a concrete impact that could be felt from China’s slowdown as it was one of the country’s biggest export and import sources.
However, the Philippines was becoming a recipient of manufacturing companies wanting to look for alternative sites for their existing operations in China, he said.
Last month, the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) reported that 20 Japanese electronics firms were eyeing to relocate their operations from China to the Philippines this year. Each Japanese manufacturer was expected to invest between $20 million and $100 million, while the number of jobs that could be generated from these prospective investments were expected to reach 25,000.
“The Philippines can be a beneficiary … but the issue is sustainability—whether they (foreigners) can make their businesses work here. Of course we already have some of the big ones here like Texas Instruments. But it’s a question now of being able to build the infrastructure necessary to support (these prospective investors),” Barcelon said.