Thursday, 15 October 2009

Investments in growth areas seen to remain robust in 2010

Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines--Investments in the country’s SO-called growth sectors are expected to remain robust next year, as the Philippines remained “one of only a handful of resilient economies that maintained a sound economic footing during the worst global economic crisis in recent years.”

Growth sectors included IT-business process outsourcing, mining, renewable energy, infrastructure and construction, agribusiness and services which would include tourism, retirement, health and wellness.

In his presentation at the economic briefing on Wednesday, Trade Secretary Peter Favila said the IT-BPO industry for instance, was expected to grow to about $13 billion and employ close to a million workers by 2010.

For 2009, the BPO industry targets to breach the 500,000 direct employee threshold with a projected double digit growth of 25 percent.

Favila also noted that the mining industry was expecting some $1 billion in investments this year, with the view of making the Philippines a major nickel producer by 2010. He added that by 2013, mining investments could even reach $12.6 billion.

According to Favila, the government was banking on the Renewable Energy Law and its implementing regulations to further spur investments in the local renewable energy.

And even with the economic crisis, he said the country saw this year several big ticket projects and major investments.

These included the $1.1-billion expansion program of Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines; P300-million ethanol plant in Leyte; Texas Instruments’ $1.5-billion facility; $1.1-billion investment plans in biofuels, and Hanjin’s additional $86-million investment in Subic.

To further boost investments, he said the government was undertaking several initiatives to put in place a stable policy framework.

“Exports and investment strategies [are] designed to best position the country for the global rebound,” Favila said.

These initiatives included improving the business environment and reducing transaction costs.

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