Sunday, 7 September 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Philippines moves up 7 notches in Global Competitiveness Index

Malacañang announced on Wednesday that the Philippines has moved up seven points in the 2014-2015 Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) report of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

“(This) affirms that the Aquino administration’s good governance programs have established the solid macroeconomic foundations upon which long-term inclusive growth may be attained,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said during a press briefing at the Palace.

The Philippines has advanced to rank 52nd (out of 140 countries) from the 59th place last year.

“This achievement indicates that the Philippines is well-poised to attain its objective of being in the top third (or rank 42nd) by 2016,” Coloma added.

According to the GCI report of the WEF, “The country’s gain of 33 places since 2010 is the largest over that period among all countries studied. The results suggest that the reforms of the past four years have bolstered the countrys economic fundamentals. The trends across most of the 12 pillars are positive, and in some cases truly remarkable.”

The GCI measures the competitiveness of 144 economies based on more than 100 factors grouped into 12 pillars.

Coloma added that the country has a good ranking in the following pillars: institutions (ranked 67th); business sophistication (46th); financial market development (49th); innovation (52nd); and government efficiency (69th).

The other pillars are macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labor market efficiency, technological readiness, market size, and infrastructure.

However, the country’s rating on infrastructure is considered poor, especially with respect to airport and seaport infrastructure.

“The government acknowledges that the biggest area of improvement is still infrastructure and this is being addressed with the launching of major projects that are being implemented by using the public-private partnerships mode,” said Coloma. PND (ag)

Malacañang asks importers, truckers to cooperate in decongesting Port of Manila

The Palace has appealed to businessmen and truckers not to use the Port of Manila as their warehouse to avoid congestion at the seaport.

In a press briefing in Malacañang on Wednesday, Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said they have spoken to businesses, truck organizations, and private sector individuals on the need to decongest the Port of Manila.

"We’ve been trying the discussion of just meeting and talking about it, but I guess it is time to rationalize, and we’re saying now: ‘Please don’t use the port as your warehouse’," Almendras said.

He said importers are leaving their containers in the port because it is cheaper to do so than to occupy a warehouse in Metro Manila.

However, this is no longer acceptable since the port needs more space as an increasing number of cargoes are expected, especially in the last three months of the year, he added.

The Palace announced on Tuesday the plan to move the cargoes out of the Port of Manila.

He said that on September 8, as agreed more than a month ago, importers and truckers have to move their cargoes, especially those that have been in the port for more than 30 days. Otherwise, port authorities will transfer the containers to Subic.

By October 1, the government will start charging P5,000 for every unclaimed container transferred to Subic.

"We really need importers to pull out their cargoes from the pier, from the port facilities into other warehouses, into their factories because we need the space to handle the others that [are] incoming," Almendras said. PND (as)

Palace welcomes credit rating upgrade from South Korea's NICE Investors Service

Malacañang has welcomed the credit rating upgrade from the NICE Investors Service Co. Ltd. of South Korea, from BB+ to BBB-.

"We are pleased to announce that the Philippines has received yet another credit rating upgrade, this time from South Korea-based NICE Investors Service Co. Ltd., which has raised our credit rating from BB+ to BBB- with a positive outlook—thus upgrading our status from speculative to investment grade," Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

The upgrade marks the 18th positive rating action since the start of the Aquino administration.

Valte said this development reflects the international community’s continuing confidence in the country’s growth potential, as previous credit rating upgrades have shown.

"Based on our improved fiscal profile, as well as robust stability in the financial market, among other factors, this upgrade manifests renewed optimism for our country’s future," she said.

In its report, NICE Investors Service Co. Ltd. cited the Aquino government’s “continuing efforts to improve governance and infrastructure” as a key factor in the upgrade.

As has been affirmed by both local and international observers, the administration’s agenda of tuwid na daan has borne fruit in bringing about a remarkable economic revitalization, which has not been experienced by the country for many years, Valte said.

"Buoyed by this positive news, let us continue to look forward to a brighter future and collectively work toward achieving even more milestones for the Philippines," she added.

Also on Wednesday, the Philippines jumped seven notches in the World Economic Forum's (WEF) 2014-2015 Global Competitiveness Report, from 59th in the last rankings to 52nd in the latest rankings.

The latest survey registered improvements in macroeconomic environment and institutions, as well as ethics and corruption, citing reforms in the past four years as having bolstered economic growth. PND (as)

President Aquino inducts new set of officers of Foreign Chamber Council of the Philippines

President Benigno S. Aquino III administered the oath of office to the new set of officers of the Foreign Chamber Council of the Philippines, Inc. (FCCP) in a simple ceremony held at the President’s Hall of Malacanañg Palace on Wednesday.

The group was led by its chairman, Philip Chien, Chairman Emeritus of the Taiwan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines, Inc.

Also inducted into office were:

- Ram Sitaldas, FCCP Executive Vice Chairman (Chairman Emeritus of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce Philippines, Inc.)

- Ramesh Genomal, FCCP Vice Chairman-External Affairs (President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce Philippines, Inc.)

- Edward Ling, FCCP Vice Chairman-Internal Affairs (President of the Malaysian Association of the Philippines)

- Abdulgani Macatoman, FCCP Vice Chairman-Trade and Commerce (Executive Vice President of the Turkish Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines)

- Ferdinand Sarfati, FCCP Vice Chairman-Ways and Means (Chairman Emeritus of the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines)

- Petteri Makitalo, FCCP Vice Chairman-Social Responsibility (Trustee of the Philippine Finland Society)

- Eddie B. H. Yeo, FCCP Vice Chairman-Treasury (Executive Vice President of the Singapore Philippines Association)

- Michael Lin, FCCP Vice Chairman-Media and Information (President of the Taiwan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines, Inc.)

The FCCP serves as a partner of Philippine businesses, government, and social institutions. It acts as a source of information, and provides access to foreign business groups through its member countries.

The council holds conferences and other activities that aim to inform and educate business leaders and government officials in promoting environmental protection to attain a sustainable economy.

The FCCP is composed of nine countries -- Finland, France, India, Israel, Spain, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Turkey. PND (jb)