Byline: EDU H. LOPEZ
The Philippines has a high competitive advantage over other Asean countries with the abundant educated manpower and large domestic market.
Economist Bernardo M. Villegas, dean of the School of Economics and the University of Asia and the Pacific told a forum that the Philippines' strategic location in East Asia and the widespread use of English are some of the added advantages.
The relatively stable political climate and improved macroeconomic balances are also some of the plus factors of the Philippines.
Villegas cited the opportunities for the Philippines to take advantage. These are the Asean Free Trade Area (AFTA), the increasing exports to China, the aging population of developed countries, and the large markets in Europe.
However, some of the weaknesses of the country included high levels of corruption, poor state of infrastructure, low quality of education, terrorism and kidnapping and political squabbling.
Dean Villegas also pointed to some threats of the local economy such as a possible war in the Middle East, a US recession, the continuing slump in the Japanese economy, the continuing brain drain and China as a competitor for foreign investments.
He also cited some of the sunrise industries which include food, furniture, fashion, transport, telecom, tourism, IT-enabled services, logistics, health care and education services.
The determinants of a national advantage are the presence of supplier industries and related industries that are international competitive and the conditions governing how companies are created, organized and managed and the nature of the domestic rivalry. …