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Freeman Cebu Business

International firms to make Philippines as gateway to ASEAN

Ehda Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - With the ASEAN integration just around the bend, more international companies are expected to make their way to a 600 million consumer base with the Philippines as their gateway to the region.

Economist Bernardo Villegas said that this eventuality will mean an increase in foreign direct investments for the Philippines.

Villegas added that the geographical location of the Philippines in the direction makes it a perfect entry point for global companies to launch their presence in the ASEAN.

He further said that this will help in the recovery of the manufacturing industry, which will reinforce the promising outlook of the country for 2015.

"We are right in the middle of everything and has very good potential to become the gateway for global companies to enter the ASEAN market," said Villegas.

While this development could heighten the investment figures and job opportunities for the country, Villegas reiterated his warning to local businessmen to strongly guard their "home-court", as global firms may become a threat to them, if they don't put extra effort, investments to stay ahead in the competition.

To those who want to take advantage of the opportunities brought about by integration, “they have to do their homework" very well, as these international companies are serious with their intent to capture the ASEAN market, which is also seen as the next market to watch out for in the world.

Despite the problems faced by the local businessmen regarding government policies, laws and regulations, Filipino businesses have to do their best in order to level up and be at par with the giants.

In his presentation to Cebuano businessmen, Villegas revealed the industries that are seen to perform well this year, these include; agribusiness, mining, transport, tourism, telecommunication, infrastructure, automobile, consumer durables, IT-enabled and IT services, retailing and logistics, healthcare, medical tourism, education, construction, real estate, food, furniture, fashion, and fun.

He said the Philippines has to leverage in being one of the three countries in the ASEAN that are most favored, together with Indonesia and Vietnam.

A more profound effect of the ASEAN integration will be felt by consumers starting this year and onwards, while local companies will also see a tighter competition race, at the same time opportunities for business will widen.  (FREEMAN)

ASEAN

BUSINESSMEN

CEBUANO

COMPANIES

ECONOMIST BERNARDO VILLEGAS

GLOBAL

INDONESIA AND VIETNAM

INTEGRATION

PHILIPPINES

VILLEGAS

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