‘What next president must do to grow economy’

‘What next president must do to grow economy’
Philippine Daily Inquirer

LEGAZPI CITY—A well-sustained economy, poverty reduction, fiscal issues and control of corruption are the national imperative concerns that the next president should look into in order to attain higher economic growth, a presidential economic adviser said.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, a top economic adviser of President Macapagal-Arroyo, said the strategies would be on two fronts—a 7-8 percent sustained economic growth rate followed by the reduction of poverty incidence by 14 percent while increasing the middle class from 23 percent to 45 percent by 2016.

“Our national goal, therefore, is the creation of a dynamic middle class that would be the sole foundation of a sustainable society that must be fair to the poor and to future generations,” Salceda said.

He said that to achieve and sustain higher growth, the next administration would have to execute the following: Secure build, operate and transfer projects to pole-vault public infrastructure as the key state strategic intervention for global competitiveness; encourage domestic investments; improve capital expenditures; and create regional industrial policies.

He said the national savings rate stands at 30 percent versus an investment rate of 15 percent, which is broken down into public, 4 percent, and private, 11 percent.

Such state of massive savings surplus has been experienced for the last six consecutive years, Salceda said.

“One proof is this, of the P500 billion in annual profits of the top 1,000 corporations in 2009, P350 billion was dividends. Thus, renewed business confidence should encourage domestic private reinvestments,” he said.

Moreover, the country needs little foreign capital and what it needs are foreign enterprise-based technology, access to markets and management expertise, he said, citing business process outsourcing, tourism, logistics and agribusiness as priority investment destinations.Mar S. Arguelles, Inquirer Southern Luzon

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