Cebu needs more FDIs to sustain growth
For Cebu’s economy to fly, we need to get more foreign direct investments (FDIs).”
Joel Mari Yu, managing director of Cebu Investments and Promotions Center (CIPC), made this observation during last Friday’s launching of the promotional video for Cebu, which will be used for investment presentations.
“With more FDIs we create more jobs, increase spending power; thus, spur more economic activity and growth in the community,” Yu said.
As of last year, 79.45 percent of the total investments or P286.28 billion came from local investors while P74.06 billion were foreign direct investments (FDIs) or only 20.55 percent based on figures shared by the Board of Investments.
Yu cited Singapore and Thailand as examples of countries that have successful investment promotions programs.
“Singapore since 2010 had a total of $167.08 billion in FDIs while Thailand had $25 billion. The Philippines only have $4.1 billion. That only shows that we are so far behind these countries,” Yu said.
Because of that, Singaporean’s average gross domestic products (GDP) per capita nominal is $50,323 while an average Filipino’s GDP per capita nominal is only $2,462.
“That means an average Singaporean is 25 times richer than an average Filipino because they have higher spending capability. Singaporeans are the richest in the world actually, even richer than Americans which only have about $45,000 GDP per capita nominal,” said Yu.
In Cebu, he said, we have 278 locators in the six economic zones, which employ 107,150 people while our IT/BPO parks have 139 outsourcing locators employing 95,000 workers.
“In manufacturing, the income we generate per month is about P1.39 billion from the salaries of the 107,150 employees that earns an average of P13,000 a month,” he said.
In the outsourcing sector, we earn at least P1.9 billion from the salaries of 95,000 direct employees with an average salary of P20,000 per month, Yu said.
“With that alone we have at least P3.29 billion fluid money in the economy of Cebu from the salaries. If we add the operations cost which has 1:1 ratio with the salary and cost for electricity bill and all utilities, we double that to P6.58 billion in income from these investors,” Yu said.
He said that does not include yet the indirect employment created in restaurants, coffeeshops and other retail shops that opened because of the increased economic activity.
Aside from attracting more FDIs, stakeholders should market Cebu as a second home destination to be able to provide more available manpower for these investments.
“We need to increase purchasing power which is why we need jobs and the foreign companies is the answer to that because local companies don’t hire as much people every year. To support these investments, we have to encourage people to come, live here, send their kids to school here. We must then focus on the livability of Cebu,” Yu said.
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