“Its 7.1 per cent GDP growth makes the Philip­pines the sec­ond fastest grow­ing econ­omy in Asia” Aftab Ahmed

Philippine Tatler - - AMS 2016 -

cor­po­rate farm­ing be­cause of the land re­form is­sue. So that’s an­other area that I think this ad­min­is­tra­tion has to re­ally look at. I’ve heard peo­ple in the agri sec­tor say­ing that go­ing into rice may not be so good. Rice is de­pen­dent on a lot of fresh wa­ter, and rain­fall here is un­re­li­able. Plus we don’t have nat­u­ral wa­ter­ways. I would rather we look at high-value crops to com­pete with the oth­ers. AA: It goes back to the ba­sics like seed fi­nanc­ing, fer­tiliser fi­nanc­ing, mech­a­ni­sa­tion, as well as in­tro­duc­ing modern tech­nol­ogy. IBM has a pro­gramme, de­vel­oped in the Philip­pines, that tells farm­ers what time of year to plant and when to har­vest for im­proved crop pro­duc­tion. DH: More se­ri­ous ef­fort must go into build­ing the ca­pac­ity of the co­op­er­a­tive to build the economies of scale needed while help­ing farm­ers have a larger share of in­come. KD: As a big re­tailer in the coun­try, what is your big­gest chal­lenge on a day-to-day level? DON­NIE TANTOCO: The big­gest is­sue af­fect­ing us on a day-to-day level is road traf­fic. Cus­tomers are plan­ning their lives and sched­ules based on traf­fic that is caus­ing our cus­tomers to be much more time-poor. It’s re­ally a huge en­ergy drain, even for our em­ploy­ees. So when cus­tomers do visit, we must pro­vide the best ser­vice, speed of pay­ment, right prod­uct, and also a great ex­pe­ri­ence. Af­ter all, it cost them a lot in terms of time and en­ergy due to the traf­fic to make it to our stores. HANS SICAT: Re­gard­ing chal­lenges to busi­ness, I would say clar­ity [in the an­ti­con­trac­tu­al­i­sa­tion pol­icy] is per­haps lack­ing. Con­cep­tu­ally, I think we know what the ob­jec­tive is, but how you get to that ob­jec­tive and how you op­er­a­tionalise it is an­other thing. Clearly, some in­dus­tries, not nec­es­sar­ily just some com­pa­nies, will be af­fected, de­pend­ing on how GB: PCCI signed an MOU [Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing] with the Bank of China, pri­mar­ily to ad­dress the is­sue of the SMEs. Be­cause China grew through SMEs, it is will­ing to foot the bill for a series of fo­rums which will share the best prac­tices they have ex­pe­ri­enced in this field. What we would like is to have more rea­son­able rates for the mi­cros so we’re try­ing to help bridge the gap be­tween the bank­ing sec­tor and the SMEs to come up with some­thing agree­able. DH: Growth of MSMEs will pro­vide the most pow­er­ful so­cio-eco­nomic im­pact so we must all sup­port the work be­ing done by the DTI [Depart­ment of Trade & In­dus­try] and GoNegosyo. E-com­merce is giv­ing MSMEs the Aftab Ahmed gushes over the Philip­pines’ great GDP growth; (op­po­site) Ge­orge Barcelon pushes for­ward his GI­ANT STEPS

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