“Private sector innovation is key to the first global goal”

IF the Philippines were to become a first-world country within a generation, the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) said efforts to innovate from the private sector would be a crucial step.

At the inaugural meeting of the Finance Executive Institute of the Philippines on Tuesday, Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua said the country could become an upper-middle-income country within the next two years.

But this progress must be sustained if the country is to become a world premier nation within a generation. He said innovation, which will increase the country’s productivity, will be a must.

“Within the next two years, the Philippines will likely enter the studies of upper-middle-income countries, which is a level of development that can only be sustained and bring us to a high level of income for the next generation if we innovate. If we just have to copy or assemble similar products or two things without any innovation, we will hardly grow and become a high-income country,” Chua said.

This, he said, will require the help of the private sector and the attention of the current administration and the next. Chua said the private sector and government should work together to strengthen human capital development by improving health and education outcomes.

He highlighted the need to improve logistics as well as the way products are made through better factory settings and better business processes. Chua said all parties should also strive for good governance.

“The key to sustaining our growth and becoming a high-income country for the next generation is to increase productivity and that’s an important role for the private sector,” Chua said.

These efforts should be the focus of the country while battling the pandemic and ensuring the economy recovers as well as tackling climate change.

Chua said climate change is “inevitable” and the country must prepare for more severe floods or typhoons in the future. He said it is behind the government’s current efforts to place climate change adaptation and mitigation as the cornerstone of the country’s policy framework.

“We hope that we can work together in the months to come and that the next administration will continue. The first is to continue our coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic or should I say endemic, the second is to increase productivity and the third is to respond to climate change,” Chua said.

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