Forum tackles prospects of manufacturing sector

TITLED “Repurposing Industry for Retooling the Economy,” The Manila Times forum today will highlight growth prospects in the manufacturing sector.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez is optimistic that the Philippine manufacturing industry, one of the biggest drivers of the country's economic growth, would return to its robust pre-pandemic state.

“The Philippine manufacturing industry remains the most important sector for long-term productive employment, value-added generation, and innovation. We continue to be optimistic with the country now progressing toward economic recovery as proven by the expansion in our manufacturing sector…propelled by more economic sectors reopening,” said Lopez.

He predicted the manufacturing sector will grow by 10 percent this year from the 8.8 percent recorded in 2021.

The manufacturing sector employed 3.66 million workers as of April 2022, surpassing the pre-pandemic employment level of 3.65 million.

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Today's forum speakers include Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry President George Barcelon and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Dr. Rafaelita Aldaba.

“Repurposing Industry for Retooling the Economy'' is a very apt working title for the manufacturing forum. As we try to get back on our feet from the economic slump caused by the pandemic, our manufacturing industry has also seen fit to come to terms with what needs to be done. Innovation and digitalization of our work processes can help and this is partly what DTI is doing under Usec Dr. Rafaelita Aldaba of the Competitiveness and Innovation department of DTI with a much improved website as a handy tool for reference,” said The Manila Times President and Chief Operating Officer Blanquita “Blanca” Calilung Mercado.

“The private sector has also enhanced the resiliency of our workforce by partnering with our chamber of commerce for a holistic approach nationwide. The regions are covered from Luzon to Mindanao as we enter into bilateral agreements and gain training and technology to enhance the skills of our workforce. Philippine Chamber President George T. Barcelon will give us an update in today's forum,” she added.

Moderated by The Manila Times editors Conrad Cariño and Dafort Villaseran, the forum will be available for public viewing from 10 a.m. to 12 noon via The Manila Times Facebook page, as well as its YouTube and Dailymotion channels.

The event's organization partners include the British Chamber of Commerce Philippines, French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, Italian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, Inc., Management Association of the Philippines, Nordic Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy, and She Talks Peace.

Destileria Limtuaco is the episode' sponsor while The Manila Times TV is the forum's media partner.

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