Entrepreneurship, availability of jobs key to inclusive growth: economist-A A +A
By Mia A. Aznar
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
FOR experts, the key to inclusive growth is having enough productive jobs and entrepreneurship.
At the Mandaue Business Summit, Asia Development Bank senior Philippine economist Norio Usui said the Philippines needs to strengthen its industries sector to generate enough productive jobs, noting that 800,000 join the workforce each year.
He said the country needs to identify products that the country can develop with ease, build better infrastructure, implement stronger governance and meet with the private sector to identify obstacles and solve problems.
“Inclusive growth involves creating productive jobs, expanding access to education and health and building strong social safety nets,” he told participants.
As senior country economist, Usui researches topics on structural transformation and long-term growth performance, public support for industrialization, policy options for tax reforms, impact evaluation of conditional cash transfer and inter-governmental fiscal elations and local finance.
For a business school professor, the Philippines should transform itself into an entrepreneurial society.
Dr. Antonio del Carmen, director of the master of entrepreneurship program of the Ateneo Graduate School of Business, Filipinos ought to be prepared and be trained to become entrepreneurs.
His strategy for achieving inclusive growth is to move the country from being a largely managed economy to becoming more entrepreneurial.
He also suggested to disperse economic activities throughout the country and not limit it to certain city centers.
Sen. Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV believes the biggest challenge for the Philippines is not how to prepare for integration but to achieve inclusive growth.
Despite impressive economic feats, Aquino echoed the sentiments of most--that poverty numbers are not moving as fast.
“It is a good challenge to have now. If we had no growth, it would be much more difficult.”
For someone whose beginnings began with social enterprise, Aquino is convinced that the way to achieve inclusive growth is through business.
On his end, he hopes to be able to provide support for micro and small businesses. He has filed seven bills that he expects can create a level playing field, promote entrepreneurship among the youth, generate more jobs, make it easy for small players to start a business and support local producers. These include the Social Enterprise Bill, Fair Competition Bill, Youth Entrepreneurship Bill, Micro Development Bill, Go Negosyo Bill, Social Value Bill and Pagkaing Pinoy Para Sa Batang Pinoy Bill.
To the entrepreneurs present, Aquino posed a challenge for them to participate in bringing about inclusive growth by urging them to have an inclusive supply chain.
Aquino encouraged large businesses to support local communities by getting their raw materials from locals instead of importing goods. He added that businesses can do the same by getting services from a particular community.
“If you want to support the growth of our countrymen, it is through this.”
He cited the case for Jollibee, which sources its onions directly from farmers’ groups in Luzon, and Selecta, which gets its ube from Gawad Kalinga communities.
By doing business with such communities, Aquino said they are being pulled out of poverty. He added that some farmers that have benefitted from Jollibee’s patronage have earned enough to buy themselves tablets, which they use to keep track of their operations.
He also mentioned discussing with the Department of Social Welfare and Development how to shift beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer to become employable or enterprising.
“If you want to push for inclusive growth for the Philippines, you have to go through business.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 21, 2013.