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Inclusive growth possible in the next decade through bold reforms

Inclusive Growth

PANELISTS. From left: American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) of the Philippines’ John Forbes; AmCham’s Ebb Hinchliffe; Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines’ Ryan Evangelista; Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines’ Julian Payne; European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines’ Henry Schumacher; Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines’ Yoshio Amano; and Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters, Inc.’s Dan Molloy. Photo by Toni Antiporda / Entrepreneur Philippines

* This is an edited press release

The Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) of the Philippines pushes for “A Bolder and More Inclusive Decade” in its 5th Arangkada Philippines forum, which will happen on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at the Marriott Grand Ballroom, Pasay City.

The forum’s theme highlights the JFC’s focus on identifying the needed reforms so that the Philippines can achieve sustained economic and inclusive growth over the next decade.

Arangkada Philippines, which was launched in 2010, is the major advocacy of the JFC to increase investment and employment in the Philippines by September 2016. It is backed by a $1 million grant from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and is facilitated by the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc.

Inclusive Growth

FOCUS ON AGRI. The Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines released a policy brief on agriculture in a bid to see bold reforms in the sector, which can aid inclusive growth in the country, especially in rural areas. Photo from Thinkstock

Improving, but challenges remain

Since Arangkada Philippines launched five years ago, the JFC has seen great strides in terms of the Philippines’ economic growth, in part due to its growing BPO (Business Process Outsourcing), manufacturing, and tourism sectors, and its improving credit ratings.

However, the JFC points out that many challenges still remain, which the next administration should address. One of the leading challenges is strengthening both the agriculture and mining sectors, which the JFC sees would be instrumental to inclusive growth in the country.

Related: Agribusiness: Key to inclusive growth in the Philippines

Infrastructure also remains a challenge, especially in public works and telecommunications. The JFC attributes traffic and urban congestion to the lack of available infrastructure that can meet the growing needs of the public. The poor quality of broadband services in the country also needs to be addressed as part of the next administration’s infrastructure program.

Related: Access to affordable, fast broadband Internet a must, PH business groups stress

Pushing for bold reforms

Arangkada Philippines’ program will feature different panels which will discuss and develop policy reforms to achieve six major developments for the next decade. First of which is to increase total investment in the Philippines to above that of the ASEAN-6 average (the ASEAN-6 being Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines, considered the older and more economically-advanced members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations).

Possible policy reforms to reduce unemployment and underemployment levels in the country to below that of the ASEAN-6 average; reduce poverty; modernize infrastructure; raise the country’s competitiveness ratings even further; and minimize bureaucracy and promote good governance will also be discussed in the panels.

These developments are all hinged within the framework of what the JFC calls the “7 Big Winner Sectors,” namely Agribusiness; Information Technology-Business Process Management; Creative Industries; Infrastructure; Manufacturing and Logistics; Mining; and Tourism, Medical Travel, and Retirement.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno will discuss about reforms to achieve a faster and fairer justice system in the Philippines. Photo from APEC 2015 website

Notable speakers

Over 45 speakers, panelists, and moderators will share their boldest ideas for policy reforms during the 5th Arangkada Philippines. Headlining the event is Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, who will speak about a faster and fairer justice system in the Philippines.

Other confirmed speakers and panelists are Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV; Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales; former Finance Secretary Roberto de Ocampo; and renowned economists Benjamin Diokno, Gerry Sicat, and Cielito Habito.

The JFC has also invited the presidential candidates of this year’s national elections to share their platforms and other bold reforms which can accelerate economic growth in the next decade.

Related: Presidentiables square off in televised debate

Recommendations made during the forum will be collated in a report that will be shared with the candidates for national office and other key stakeholders, in the hopes of implementation during the next administration.

Source: http://www.entrepreneur.com.ph/news-and-events/arangkada-philippines-2016-program-a36-20160226