Industrial productivity missing link for balanced growth: ADB economist

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Sunday, June 29, 2014


NO MATTER how prosperous the Philippine economy becomes, the country will still experience the “jobless growth” phenomenon of high unemployment and poverty levels, unless the full potential of the manufacturing sector is developed, an economist said.

Norio Usui, senior economist at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), said the inclusive growth that the Philippines seeks will remain elusive because economic growth is not matched by productivity growth in both industry and labor.

Citing figures from his ADB report “Taking the Right Road to Inclusive Growth” published in 2012, he noted how the unemployment and underemployment picture as well as poverty levels of the country have not improved since the early 2000s despite the Philippines’ remarkable GDP expansion in the last few years.

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Many Filipinos can’t enjoy the benefits of a strong economy because the country’s industrial and labor productivity lagged behind those of its Asian neighbors such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, Usui said in a presentation he made at the

National Competitive Council Dialogues on June 26 in Makati City.

“Productivity is everything in the long run,” he said, pointing to it as the “missing link” between growth and development in the Philippines.

He traced the country’s poor marks in productivity largely to the stagnation of industry. (PhilExport)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 30, 2014.

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