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Inclusive and sustainable growth remains a challenge in the Philippines. Despite the overwhelming performance of the economy in the past decade, the country still lags behind its ASEAN neighbors in terms of attracting foreign direct investments (FDIs); unemployment rate continues to be one of the highest in the region; and, poverty level has barely declined at above 20% of the population. The country’s per capita GDP is the lowest among ASEAN’s core five.

To reverse these trends, quality jobs have to be created. For this to happen, FDIs have to come in, commerce have to be stimulated and local businesses have to expand. These will require addressing long-term challenges centered on further reforming governance, accelerating investments in infrastructure particularly in transport and energy, and growing the agriculture, manufacturing and tourism sectors.

The 42nd Philippine Business Conference will focus on reforms capsulized in the acronym “G.I.A.N.T. S.T.E.P.S” that will help the country leapfrog to an investment-led, poverty-reducing economic growth. These are:


• Good governance
• Infrastructure
• Agriculture
• New era in Manufacturing
• Tourism


• Science and Technology;
• Education, and
• People Skills
• Source of Financing

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