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Manufacturing can pave PHL growth – NEDA

August 27, 2021 - Friday 7:08 PM by GDM

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The government’s socioeconomic planning agency said the ability of the Philippines to move up to high-income country status hinges on the long-term development of the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. 

In a speech, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua emphasized the importance of the manufacturing sector in the Philippines.  

“If we are to grow and sustain our upper middle-income country status and eventually move up to high-income country status in the next two decades, we have to focus on agriculture and manufacturing,” Chua, who is the secretary-general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), said.

“A strong, productive agriculture sector will provide a very good foundation for a competitive manufacturing sector,” Chua added.  

Chua explained that in countries that experience successful structural transformation, agricultural workers are typically absorbed by the manufacturing sector. This paves the way for a capital-intensive and high-technology manufacturing sector, then eventually a high-skilled services sector.  

However, in the Philippines, the share of agriculture and manufacturing to the gross domestic product has been stagnant. Moreover, agricultural workers typically migrate to informal services.  

He added that infrastructure spending is crucial in building and developing the country's manufacturing sector, as it relies heavily on the movement of people and goods. 

“What we need to do, moving forward, is to make sure that manufacturing, aided by agriculture, actually helps pave our growth path towards our 2040 vision of becoming a high-income country,” Chua said.

“That is why this administration has put strong importance on achieving our 10-point socioeconomic agenda. This will support the growth of manufacturing,” he added.