Tuesday, 20 October 2009

European businessmen see strong rebound for Philippine economy

Written by Max V. de Leon
Business Mirror

WITH electronics, business-process outsourcing (BPO), tourism, agri-business, property development and retail expected to perform better in 2010, European businessmen in the country are optimistic that the Philippine economy would be making a strong rebound next year.

“We are looking at 2010 with guarded optimism,” officials of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) said in a statement after they heard the presentation of the leaders of these major growth drivers at a recent forum hosted by the group dubbed “Economic Outlook 2010: The Philippine Business Environment in Light of Developments in the World Economy.”

Presenting their respective industry’s projections for 2010 were Philippine Agricultural Development and Commercial Corp. president Mariz Agbon, Business Processing Association of the Philippines chief executive officer Oscar Sañez, Jones Lang, Lasalle Philippines Inc. chairman Jose Fernando Camus, Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc. chairman Arthur Young, Philippine Travel Agencies Association president Ma. Paz Alberto, and Philippine Retail Association vice president Paul Santos.

Henry Schumacher, ECCP executive vice president, said investors have good reasons to be cautiously optimistic on the country’s prospects next year with these six industries expecting better numbers. The electronics industry, which directly employs 450,000 individuals and another 1.2 million indirectly, is looking at a double-digit growth in 2010 and increasing its export revenues to $29 billion to $30 billion. Young said this will help the industry recover lost ground in 2008 and 2009.

The industry, Young said, considers the uptick in consumer spending in the United States and increase in the purchase of hybrid cars, smart phones, PDAs, laptops, flat panels and medical equipment in fast-growing markets such as China and India as good reasons to be optimistic.

The BPO sector, on the other hand, is expected to rake in $9.5 billion in 2010 and then $12 billion in 2011, especially with big investments spreading rapidly to the countryside. Sañez said aside from the voice segment, growth will be strong in back-office services such as publishing, finance, corporate services, design, and creative services.

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