PCCI to focus on medium-term programs to attract investors

Posted on January 18, 2012

THE PHILIPPINE Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) aims to focus on four development issues in a bid to grow the Philippine economy amid a global downturn, the Trade department said in a statement yesterday.

The PCCI, under the new leadership of president Miguel B. Varela, intends to work with the government on power, competitiveness, countryside development and industrial policy issues as troubles from the West continue to affect the local economy.

In an interview over the Trade department’s radio program, Mr. Varela cited the euro zone debt crisis and the anemic economy of the United States as external factors to the country’s subpar growth in 2011.

Nevertheless, local business opportunities grew amid global uncertainties owing to the programs of President Benigno S. C. Aquino III.

Under the theme “PCCI Invest 2012,” the chamber will be focusing on medium-term programs designed to attract foreign and local investors to supplement government-led efforts to reform the domestic business environment.

“With focus on areas to improve the country’s international competitiveness, we can catch up with our Asian neighbors,” Mr. Varela said.

First, the chamber, together with the administration, is developing a five-year electric power road map to help lower electricity costs for consumers and businesses.

The business group also plans to support programs directed toward sectors which are seen to bring rural development such as agribusiness, business process outsourcing, mining, tourism, home decor, shipbuilding, mass housing and infrastructure.

The government, for its part, must adopt flexible policies and ease procedures in doing business to encourage more companies to register and expand, the chamber leader said.

In terms of competitiveness, Mr. Varela then noted that critical infrastructure and labor productivity measures must be implemented immediately. -- Eliza J. Diaz