By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT
The Filipino-Chinese business community forecasts a robust 6.5-7.5 percent GDP growth in 2020 on favorable economic conditions and sustained reforms.
In a statement, Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII) President Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong expressed optimism that increased domestic and foreign investments, continuing economic reforms, good fiscal and monetary policies, benign inflation rate, political stability, the expected major acceleration in infrastructure expenditures, the strengthening tourism boom, implementation of state technical and credit support for rural farmers will sustain the country’s growth in the coming year.
While Lim cited the Duterte administration as an era of “Build, Build, Build” for Philippine infrastructures, he was also pushing for the promotion and development of the agriculture sector.
Foremost, Lim was advocating for “Grow, Grow, Grow” campaign for Philippine agriculture modernization.
“In my personal capacity, I am advocating a ‘Masagana 300’ program in partnership with Presidential Consultant for Entrepreneurship Secretary Joey Concepcion’s GoNegosyo NGO to encourage the estimated two million Filipino rice farmers to boost rice production to 300 cavans per hectare,” he said.
He said the FFCCCII members are fully behind the government in aiming for grade A investment rating for the Philippines from international credit rating agencies.
FFCCCII has over 170 member chambers and industry associations nationwide.
“We have great faith in the bright and more inclusive future of the Philippine economy, therefore we shall invest more and encourage other fellow entrepreneurs here and abroad to do more business in the Philippines,” he said.
The Filipino-Chinese business community also supports the Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act (CITIRA) to lower corporate income tax from 30% to 20% and to rationalize investment incentives.
“An important, positive milestone in the new year 2020 shall be the upcoming 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between two ancient allies and trade partners the Philippines and China, amidst flourishing economic and infrastructure cooperation, cultural diplomacy and other people-to-people exchanges,” he added.
He noted that the strengthening of traditional good relations with China is good news for the Philippine economy to compete with ASEAN and Asian neighbors in tapping this world’s No. 1 largest consumer and tourism market of 1.4 billion people.
For the FFCCCII in 2019, he cited the group’s numerous economic, business, socio-civic and cultural advocacies include promotions of increased investments; welcoming of foreign investors; helping create more new jobs; humanitarian aid of free rice and cash ₱1.4 million to fully rehabilitate fishing boat hit in Recto Bank; relief assistance for victims of typhoon, fire and earthquake calamities; donation and construction of public school-buildings under FFCCCII’s “Operation Barrio Schools” civic project; support for various Filipino Chinese fire volunteer brigades nationwide which help all fire and calamity victims regardless of race or socio-economic origin; weekly Sunday free medical and dental missions for urban and rural poor families.