‘Manufacturing picks up but still needs shot in the arm’ – NEDA

The country’s manufacturing sector grew by five per cent during the first semester of the year, but still needs much boosting and support after 30 years of stagnation.

This assessment was made by NEDA Secretary General Arsenio Balisacan at the Economic Briefing held last week at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

The sector has been neglected for almost three decades, he explains.  “There is no question in our mind that we need to revive our manufacturing sector.”

On the other hand, DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo, speaking at the same forum, hailed the second-half  growth of manufacturing activities as significant.

“The Philippines is second to China in the Asian region (during this period) … and we expect strong third and fourth quarters,” he said at the economic leaders’ summit.

Balisacan said that recent developments show that manufacturing exports, which used to rely on the semi-conductors industry, have diversified lately in terms of product lines.  He cited the declining contribution of the semi-conductors industry, from 77 per cent of manufacturing output seven years ago down by 50 per cent by recent statistics.

The diversification is attributed to an increasing number of non-electronic products in the food processing and health fields being exported.

Balisacan identified the food processing sub-sector as most promising, comparing its prospects to those in the semi-conductors and business process outsourcing industries.

Adapted from GMA News

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