from Philstar’s correspondent, Richmon S. Mercurio
World Bank urges Philippines to simplify business regulations
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines could rake in additional investments of at least P5 billion to P10 billion from the private sector annually should it simplify business regulations, according to the World Bank.
In a briefing last week, World Bank Philippine office senior country economist Karl Kendrick Chua said business regulations in the Philippines tend to be cumbersome and limit the growth of innovative entrepreneurship and investments.
“Indicative estimates suggest the high cost of doing business is clearly a toll on the country’s inclusive growth agenda. We don’t have exact numbers, but if we have simpler regulations, we are seeing anywhere from at least P5 billion to P10 billion in new investments that can come in,” Chua said.
Chua said current Philippine business regulations also contribute to large scale informality which prevents the country from creating more and better jobs that could reduce poverty at a faster rate.
He said simplifying business regulations could unleash the potential of the private sector, particularly the small and micro businesses which are important contributors and beneficiaries of inclusive growth.
“They not only have to pay legitimate fees between P21,000 to P45,000 a year when they open a business, they also spend a considerable amount of time moving from one agency to another, and waiting in line to process their documents, often resulting in significant loss of productive time and income. In some instances, businesses report they need to pay bribes to obtain various permits and licenses,” Chua said.
“After a business commences, numerous annual regulatory and tax requirements are needed, which can take many days in a year. Moreover, there are tax and contribution payments that have to be paid frequently every year,” he added.
from Philstar.com’s Professor Enrique Soriano :
Iloilo: Next best haven for property investment in Visayas
MANILA, Philippines – Investing in real estate is all about spotting the right opportunity, and it’s usually in places where big infrastructure and industrial projects are rising.
Here in the Philippines, we are at a stage in the economic cycle that enables job growth and real estate opportunities. We have cities that are swiftly becoming the face of progress and expansion, cities that hold so much potential for investment.
Quite significant to note is the City of Iloilo. I believe that it is on a promising direction to live up to my expectations as one of the most investment-worthy locations for property.
What makes Iloilo City a property investment haven?
It is the original ‘Queen’
Iloilo was given the honorable title as “Queen City of the South” by Spain’s Queen Regent Maria Christina in 1889. Beyond its title, Iloilo has been one of the most affluent cities in the 18th and early 19th centuries in Southeast Asia, establishing an international port for global textile industry and effervescent economy.
Iloilo’s economy gave birth to its glorious image as the city of elites, business magnates, notable persons in various fields and prominent national heroes. Heritage houses and landmarks are still standing tall even today to remind the world that Iloilo is an old, royal metropolis, home to the affluent.
It is an eco-friendly city
There is a strong synergy, a sense of balance between preserving the past, chasing the dream of a bright future, and taking care of the environment in Iloilo City. Billions of pesos are spent by the government to elevate the Iloilo River, which serves as the city’s historical international trading port.
Iloilo also prides itself with its well-managed traffic and urban control—the city roads have long-stretching bike lanes and walkable pedestrian lanes to promote healthy activities.
Its impeccable flavors
Rich like its magnificent past, Iloilo is a city of impeccable flavors and culinary creations. One of its most famous dishes is the Batchoy, a hot noodle soup mixed with left-over meats and secret spices, invented back in World War II in the wet market of La Paz district.
And who could miss out on the famous crispy bread topped with sweet-creamy milk that is now known as the Biscocho, a well-known pasalubong. The overflowing fresh seafood catch from Iloilo’s seas also created a wide array of seafood specialties. Soon, Ilonggos will also get to taste the best ensaymada available in Richmonde Hotel in Iloilo Business Park as the hotel is scheduled to open this month.
It is the heart of festivals
Preserved in the hearts of its people, Iloilo’s deep Catholic Christian traditions spawned the most genuine celebrations and festivities such as the world-famous Dinagyang Festival, showcasing spectacular choreography and intricate costumes. The Paraw Regatta Festival, the oldest boat sailing competition in Southeast Asia and its accompanying Samba de Regatta are grandiosely celebrated as well.
Its passionate people
People in Iloilo have high respect and passion in preserving their glorious past. Such passion is reflected in their gracious and warm attitude towards visitors. A walk throughout the cityscape would give you a vivid glimpse of “smiles,” vibrant faces and passionate approach whenever you are lost or wanting to look around.
Your property investment in Iloilo
Iloilo City is moving forward to chase its vibrant future as the next economic epicenter in the Philippines, right next to Metro Manila.
From its glorious cultural past and heritage, Iloilo is now elevating with significant infrastructure developments. For instance in the Mandurriao district—the location of the old Iloilo Airport—a 72-hectare master-planned commercial and lifestyle township named Iloilo Business Park emerges.
The multi-faceted Iloilo Business Park is one of the country’s most well-planned developments that offer a near-complete lifestyle and multi-functional accessibility. Usual real estate projects are mostly standalones, but this township is highly integrated with many linkages to commercial establishments, hotels, offices and the rising Iloilo Convention Center where the much-awaited Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2015 summit will take place.
For most investors, this is definitely a confirmation of the real value for money and investment. You’re not just buying a condominium or commercial areas, you’re actually buying the whole township, which is a dynamic and integrated community that holds great potential for business.
I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Andrew L. Tan, the visionary owner of Megaworld, developer of Iloilo Business Park. I remember him saying that integrity is non-negotiable. And that’s true; we should learn to look for value in everything that we do and pursue—value for money, investment and time.
Iloilo Business Park, I believe, is the product of his desire to offer in Iloilo something that is worthy of an investment, and of course, raises the standard of life in the province.
Knowing where developments like Iloilo Business Park are coming from, I can safely say that Iloilo, once a quiet royal city so rich in history, is well on its way as a 21st century world-class premier metropolis truly deserving of an investment.
from manilastandardtoday.com’s correspondent, Gabrielle H, Binaday :
Think tank sees PH growing 6%
The Philippine economy will likely grow 6 percent this year, faster than the 3.2-percent average expansion in Asia-Pacific, regional think tank Pacific Economic Cooperation Council said Monday.
PECC, in its annual state of the region report, ahead of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders’ Week in Manila, said the Philippines was expected to expand 6.3 percent in 2016 and 6.7 percent annually, from 2017 to 2020.
Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed the Philippine economy grew 5.3 percent in the first semester, lower than the government’s full-year growth target of 7 percent to 8 percent.
The report said growth for both advanced and emerging economies in the region, including the Philippines, was significantly slower than the previous crisis years, an indication of the important structural changes taking place in regional economies.
PECC said inflation in the Philippines would likely fall to 1.9 percent in 2015, slightly below the government’s target range of 2 percent to 4 percent.
PECC said inflation would likely rise to 3.4 percent in 2016 and 5.5 percent in 2017 to 2020.
Inflation rate in the first 10 months of 2015 averaged 1.4 percent.
Meanwhile, the Asia Pacific region is forecast to grow 3.2 percent in 2015, the slowest since the global financial crisis, before returning to what has become the ‘new normal’ growth of around 3.4 percent to 3.5 percent, according to PECC.
“Almost 40 percent of respondents to PECC’s annual survey expected weaker growth for the global economy over the next 12 months, citing a slowdown in the Chinese economy; failure to implement structural reforms; a lack of political leadership; a slowdown in the US economy; and a lack of adequate infrastructure as the top risks to growth,” PECC said.
“Apec’s agenda has moved on from a focus on trade liberalization to addressing a broader set of issues since the Philippines last hosted the meetings in 1996,” said PECC secretary general Eduardo Pedrosa, who served as coordinator of the report.
PECC said the launching of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership would help boost growth in the region.
“However, much more is needed. Increasingly, economies aspire to, and demand, growth that is sustainable and inclusive. This raises the very real question of where such growth will come from. As tariffs, quotas and other trade barriers have fallen with trade liberalization, the focus of efforts to generate growth has shifted to structural obstacles that create behind-the-borders barriers to business,” the report said.
PECC cited the need for the region to focus on achieving growth that is not only strong but sustainable and inclusive.
from http://business.inquirer.net correspondent, Doris Dumlao-Abadilla :
Manila forecast to be next ‘Great Global City
The rise of Asia is another megatrend cited by Sheeran, who noted that the world has yet to fully appreciate the brilliance of this region. Since 1901, she noted that only 68 out of 900 Nobel laureates were chosen out of Asia.
As such, she said Asia Society sought to fill in the recognition gap with the launch of its annual “Asia Game-Changer” awards.
The rise of connectivity is another megatrend cited by Sheeran, who pointed out that the rise of the smartphone has become the core technology of the developing world. She said humanity was just at the beginning of how connectivity could change the world.
It is the same connectivity that had created companies like the car-booking firm Uber or China-based online market Alibaba.
Sheeran said the next Uber or Alibaba could be born in the Philippines.
The rise of self-empowerment is likewise another megatrend seen influencing SMEs.
The dismantling of barriers to entry, mostly with the use of technology, is allowing individuals to tackle everyday problems by themselves.
“Even at a small scale you can create things to inspire the world,” she said.
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Robert G. Sarmiento Properties
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