Filipinos urged: learn Mandarin

FOR Filipinos to become globally competitive in the years ahead, they should learn Mandarin and the Chinese way of doing business, a professor from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) said.

Federico Macaranas, an economics professor at AIM, said Mandarin is an added skill and an advantage for Filipinos, especially in this time of blossoming bilateral relations between China and the Philippines.

He said learning Mandarin, even if it’s only basic, increases one’s marketability and value. Being able to speak the language would also help Filipinos deal with Chinese better, especially in the area of business.

Macaranas was in Cebu for a Leadership Conference hosted by the AIM Alumni Cebu Chapter in cooperation with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He noted that the peaceful rise of China across all fields, as well as the building of the $900-billion New Silk Road, sends a clear message of growing power and influence.

The New Silk Road is a double trade corridor that is set to reopen channels between China and its neighbors in the west: most notably Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

“China is offering a lot... now we need to know which industries we want to cooperate with them,” he said.

At present, China is building its own supply chain complementaries across the globe. The powerhouse economy is now the largest trade partner of more than twice as many countries as the US.

From US$800 billion investments abroad in 2014, the AIM professor said China is projected to grow its businesses overseas to $2 trillion in 2020, evident with the growing Chinese communities around the globe.

Macaranas said the presence of Chinese communities has allowed China to grab some stakes in various businesses overseas.

China has made more money in artificial intelligence, e-commerce and biotechnology, he said.

He said the Philippines can tap into China’s wealth of expertise and cooperate with them in the areas of agriculture, shipping and in creating new technology products.

Earlier, House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said it’s fitting for the Philippines to forge business partnerships with China, which is now becoming a champion in technology.

She noted that it makes sense for the Philippines to build economic ties with China because it is one of the world’s economic powerhouses and the fastest growing neighbor country in Asia.

Vast population, technology innovation, productivity growth and government support are the sources of wealth in China.

Moreover, Macaranas advised Filipino entrepreneurs to tap China’s thriving communities, not only in Binondo, but also in San Francisco, New York, Singapore, Vancouver, Toronto, Paris, Melbourne and London, if they want to grow their network.


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