Tourism special projects to help improve competitiveness

The National Competitiveness Council (NCC) is
pushing for the implementation of special projects to help
establish the country brand and key strategies in improving competitiveness.

Guillermo Luz, private sector co-chairman of the NCC, identified some of these special projects as the country tourism brand,
renovation of airports and upgrade of Roxas Boulevard-to-Intramuros
stretch.

Luz said there is a need to create a new and unified country brand and
campaign covering advertising, public relations, events, social marketing
and new media for both international and domestic audiences.

“There is an urgent need to fix both NAIA and Mactan airports, renovating and modernizing the
interiors and improving airport processes to make travel a more pleasant
experience.”

Luz pointed out that airports are the most visible destination for travelers which can leave a lasting
impression at both arrival and departure stages of a
trip.

Apart from project implementation, Luz said they are gearing up their
efforts toward undertaking industry and country strategies to build up
long-term competitiveness.

There is a need to prepare a five to 10-year industry roadmaps, country
competitors, potential of industry for value and employment growth,
projected investments by industry players and policy environment.

Luz  said country strategy entails benchmarking against key
competitiveness indices, tracking city competitiveness and key
indicators, focusing on lowest-ranking or easiest-to-fix indicators and
linking competitiveness plan to Philippine Development Plan, national
budget, Cabinet agenda and Legislative-Executive Development Advisory
Council (LEDAC).

NCC aims to address the improvement of the country’s
competitiveness from the bottom third of competitiveness rankings to the
top third by 2016.

The Philippine competitiveness ranking dropped by two notches to 41st
among 59 countries covered by the World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY)
2011 recently released by Swiss-based International Institute for
Management and Development.

As the country implements these strategies and projects, Luz said it
hopes to achieve a higher foreign direct investments, double export
growth to $120 billion by 2016 with new products and services to account
for 30 percent of exports, and gross domestic product (GDP) growth of
seven to eight percent per year.

For its part, the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) is
pushing a number of key actions, including pursuing infrastructure
strategic to the so-called big winners, intended to enhance the country’s
competitiveness.

MAP Task Force for Competitiveness chair Ambassador Cesar Bautista
said products and services where the country generate greatest potentials
for growth include agribusiness, tourism, information technology
(IT)-enabled services, electronics, logistics-enabled products,
manufacturing, mining; and health, wellness and retirement.

“There should be appropriate infrastructure and policies to ensure
effective linkages from investors’ sources of assets/resources to the
processing centers to the distribution centers to domestic/overseas
markets,” he said

Bautista said the task force would also push for the creation of a Strong
Investors Assistance Office and a Coalition for Competitiveness (CFC)
which will be a private sector initiative, similar to the business model
of Coalition Against Corruption.

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