TO help government find out what needs to be changed and improved in the different industries in the country, member-chambers of the Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) are drafting a 300-page roadmap that will contain recommendations for the so-called seven “big winner” industries.
“The new administration has been advocating for a change in its governance. We in the private sector would also want to be one with the government’s call for change. We drafted a roadmap for us to see where change can be created,” said European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) executive vice president Henry Schumacher in a press conference Thursday.
Schumacher said JFC formulated a roadmap that seeks to give new directions to the country’s seven “big winner” industries---agribusiness, information technology and business process outsourcing (IT/BPO), creative industries,
manufacturing and logistics, infrastructure, mining, and tourism.
The roadmap was presented to businessmen, media and government officials last April in Manila.
The recommendations, he said were culled from focus group discussions initiated by the JFC, the umbrella group comprising the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, ECCP, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines, Korean Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and Philippine Association of multinational Companies Regional Headquarters Inc.
Reports indicated these industries can attract as much as $75 billion in foreign direct investments and create 10 million new jobs if developed by government.
Schumacher, who was in Cebu for a business council meeting, said there is a need to focus on the seven industries as these would boost investments in the country.
“We need to focus on the agribusiness industry as this addresses the poverty in the countryside and this provides more livelihood opportunities for farmers and fisher folk,” he said.
The country also has a lot of potential in mining because of its rich deposits of gold, copper and nickel, he said.
Schumacher also reported that ECC has started seeing the new cabinet members of the different agencies of the government to discuss the roadmap.
ECCP was tasked to meet with department secretaries of trade and industry, finance, energy and labor and employment.
Although the JFC has expressed its full support for the Aquino administration, Schumacher said there is still much to be done.
“It’s too early to tell if there would be more European investments since the Aquino administration has just started, but we are positive about this administration. However, we should get things organized first and implement necessary changes to create a more investor-friendly country,” he said.
Schumacher also said the chamber is working on a priority legislation list for the 15th Congress.