Sunday, 14 October 2012

Philippines has reached 'inflection point,' says HK Genting exec

By: Krista Angela M. Montealegre,
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA - The Genting Group of Hong Kong will hike its investments in the Philippines, which the company said has reached its "inflection point” amid government reforms, favorable macroeconomic fundamentals and a skilled labor force.

Speaking at the 38th Philippine Business Conference and Expo on Wednesday, David Chua, president of Genting Hong Kong, said he is "totally convinced" that "the Philippines is the right place, the Filipinos are the right people and now is the right time" to invest here.

The Genting Group, along with Alliance Global Group Inc., will pour another $1.2 billion in the next three years with the launch of Resorts World Bayshore in state-run Pagocor's Entertainment City project, Chua said.

AGI and the Genting Group have jointly invested $800 million in Resorts World Manila, the country's first integrated tourism entertainment complex, through Travellers International Hotel Group Inc.

Chua said it took him more than 10 years to return to the Philippines since his last visit in the 1990s. The Genting Group finally decided to invest here in 2008.

"It is because of it being the right time, the right place and the right people, that many believe the Philippines is hitting an inflection point, much like Indonesia did recently. I would like to say that from having invested more than four years ago, I believe that the Philippines has already hit that inflection point," Chua said.

Now is the "right time" to invest in the Philippines, Chua said, adding that government and policy reforms in eradicating inefficiencies and rampant corruption "usually sets the scene for the next stage of growth and development."

The Philippines has become an attractive investment destination because of its favorable macroeconomic fundamentals characterized by low inflation, improved credit rating, strong currency and an emerging middle-class.

Chua also noted the "young highly educated and extremely talented" workforce bodes well for the country.

"The Philippines is uniquely positioned as it traditionally [has] been an exporter of human capital especially knowledge workers. Unlike other countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong who have had to import skilled workers, the Philippines hitting her inflection point need only bring back home the OFWs," Chua said.

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