Manufacturing seen to grow

Posted on January 30, 2014

THE MANUFACTURING sector will likely expand by 10% in the next two years amid the influx of foreign manufacturing firms in the country and increased government support, Trade officials yesterday said.

Gregory L. Domingo -- BW File Photo
“We expect manufacturing to continue growing by 10% in the next year or two,” said Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo, in a press briefing in Makati City yesterday.

“The expansion of the manufacturing sector is now at a much broader base than in the 1990s. We now see large-scale production of shipping, medical products, bicycle parts, and auto parts, among others,” said Mr. Domingo.

He identified electronics and automotives as sectors to support growth in the two-year period.

Trade Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal, Jr., in the same briefing, held a similarly positive view: “We believe this growth is going to be sustained. In third quarter last year, for the first time, manufacturing grew faster than services. A lot of factors in the region make us an attractive destination for manufacturing.”

“Now, the roadmaps will set short-, medium- and long-term goals, identifying issues that cut across all sectors,” he added.

The Trade department is set to release 26 industry roadmaps. Mr. Cristobal said the agency presented to stakeholders 12 roadmaps last year.

This year, some of the roadmaps the Trade department has commissioned include those for marine products, processed foods, shipbuilding, and mineral processing.

Mr. Cristobal also said the government has earmarked P2.3 billion to revive the country’s manufacturing industry.

Another P700 million has been allotted for the agency’s shared services facilities program to boost the productivity of micro, small and medium enterprises.

The country’s competitiveness, Mr. Domingo said, has also contributed to the resurgence of the manufacturing sector as it attracts companies to locate here.

He added that the Philippines’ incentive system is more predictable than that of other countries in the region.

“Unlike many other countries in Southeast Asia, the incentives we give are provided by law so there are really no negotiations,” said the Trade chief.

Given all these interventions, the Trade department hopes to increase the share of manufacturing in the gross domestic product to 30-34% from the current 20-23%. -- Daryll Edisonn D. Saclag