Not only is it more fun in the Philippines, but it is actually doing very well economically. This positive assurance was shared by four business and trade leaders in the government and private-sector at a business forum held at the AIM Conference Center. Charts presented at the forum showed the positive indicators stimulating the economy, from US dollar shortages to surplus, interest rates down and focused efforts to stimulate the economy.
Billed “Marketing Goods & Services in a Robust Philippine Economy,” the conference was organized by 720cc (Seven Twenty Degrees Consumer Connect), a re-branded two-year old media agency Plus, with a 40-year heritage in the local ad industry.
The keynote speaker, Dr Emilio Antonio from the University of Asia & the Pacific (UA&P) apprised the audience on the economic landscape, past and forecast. He said the country is now next to China in terms of savings rate. Another speaker, Ms. Brenda Mendoza – NEDA Director of Trade, Industries and Utilities – revealed that the GDP during the last three quarters of 2012 registered a growth of 67% equivalent to 2.6% points increase (6.5) over the same period in 2011 (3.9). Growth rate in industries during the same period scored a 4.5% points rise in 2012 over the preceding year (from 1.8% to 6.3%), while the services sector chalked up a 2.7% gain over 2011.
The economic impact on certain industries was discussed by Prof. Eric Soriano of the Ateneo Graduate School and Mr. Gabs Buluran, TNS Philippines general manager. Professor Soriano predicted that growing affluence and investment appetite will fuel property sales. He said government infrastructure is starting to move, consumer sentiment is getting better and areas outside of the National Capital Region are getting favorable.
Mr. Buluran reiterated that at 7.4% growth, the Philippines was best performer in Asia next to China. Service markets like BPOs provided employment thereby boosting lifestyle spend. The OFWs and the BPOs tap all available media. Consumption of media, he said, mirrors the economic trends with platforms not bound by time and space, gaining solid ground on the consumers’ habits.
He also said that more than 12 million urban Filipinos from ABCD class, aged 16-65, are on social networks with 2,533,981 building relationships with brands. Internet penetration was highest among 34 years old and below, with the teens accessing the Internet more. Moreover, the Internet along with the mobile phone are the key channels used by OFW families, with Facebook reigning supreme. 11 hours is the average time spent online each week.
The Economic Briefing was a pulsing report provided for clients of 720cc (www.720cc.com) and invited marketers of products and services.
by: Ida L. Bata
PH Economy: Cruising at City Speed While in the Highway