Marcos bares strategy to sustain PH economic growth

Marcos bares strategy to sustain PH economic growth
Photo from Bongbong Marcos Facebook

IN A bid to sustain the country’s current growth momentum and make its economy stronger, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said his administration is focusing on re-skilling and upskilling the Philippines’ workforce, enhancing efforts to adapt to new technologies and attracting more investments.

During the question and answer session of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia at Malacañang on Tuesday, March 19, 2024, with WEF President Børge Brende, Marcos raised the need for Filipino laborers to improve their competitiveness and keep up with the advancements under the new economy, both domestically and internationally.

“Whenever we speak on investments I always ask the prospective investor if we have in fact a training program, if there is a transfer of technology, because this is going to be essential,” he said.

“This continuous training and upskilling of our workers is conducted not only so that they are able to work in the areas that are important in the new economy. And also we have a very significant part of our economy is dependent on our overseas workers,” he added.

Marcos said they are also paying attention to directing investment properly to ensure that it actually helps the country’s economic growth.

“We now move on with the initiatives that we would like to introduce. And those are, what I spoke of in my speech, the investment that comes from private partners (but) government to government investments are also something that we are hoping to increase,” the President said.

“And these investments also must be directed properly. They cannot be just investments that are perhaps very profitable but do not really help the economy grow. So [it] is still the main aim. I think, we [have] grown the idea… that we grow the economy out of the doldrums of the post-pandemic situation,” he added.

Capital investment in new sectors will also be key, Marcos said, citing investments in digital space, new technologies and industries such as green minerals processing and battery production.

In his speech during the WEF, Marcos highlighted the reforms his administration instituted for economic development and the ease of doing business in the Philippines to entice more investors to put up or expand their businesses in the country.

He noted the revised implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Build-Operate-Transfer Law followed by the revisions of the Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) Code.

He reiterated that now is the right time for foreign investors to invest in the country, saying that “our economic liberalization measures signal the dawn of a new era of investments here in the Philippines.”

“Clearly, the Philippines is in a prime position to enter into a sustained period of robust economic expansion over the next couple of years,” Marcos said.

“I extend an invitation to our guests and partners here today to join us in this exciting new phase. The members of the economic team are here today ready to discuss those opportunities that I speak of in greater depth,” he added.

Marcos highlighted the 185 Infrastructure Flagship Projects, which offer high rates of return and benefit from a streamlined process. These projects strategically target important sectors for sustainable development in the Philippines, including physical and digital connectivity, agriculture, energy, health, and climate-resilient infrastructure.

He also noted that investments, particularly in durable equipment and public construction, emerged as a key driver in the full-year growth of the Philippine economy.

The WEF Country Roundtable in the Philippines is the first high-level to be convened in the Asia-Pacific region since the end of the pandemic.


Brende said it was the result of Marcos’ participation in the WEF in Switzerland in January last year that created a lot of interest and optimism in the Philippines.

“There is a lot of optimism in the Philippines but also around the Philippines globally. We had a dialogue there and it was very, very well-received and a lot of companies that are partners with the World Economic Forum said that they would like to have a roundtable, to meet with the Filipino secretaries, [and] also to meet with President Marcos,” he said in a press conference.

“Go a little bit deeper on the reforms and outlook for the Philippines and since then, in one and a half years’ time, the economy here has really shown how resilient it is,” he added.

Brende expressed belief that if the Philippines continues its current policy reforms, upgrading infrastructure, as well as investing in renewables and other areas, it will continue to grow and could remain bullish.

“I think that this can be in the coming decade, US$ 2 trillion economy if there are foreign investments in education, in infrastructure, and also able to draw on the great [competence] of the people of the Philippines,” he said.

“The youth is considerable. There [are] also opportunities when it comes to the knowledge-based economy because it’s a big change, it’s a paradigm change we face right now. Productivity can be increased by 30 percent in the coming decade. So if we want to see continued economic growth you have to be part of the intelligence economy,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)


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