APEC meetings, IT-BPM sector seen to further drive growth this year
The Central Visayas economy continued to outpace the Philippines last year as it expanded 8.8 percent, government statisticians reported.
The Philippine economy slowed down last year, with the gross domestic product (GDP) expanding by only 6.1 percent from 7.1 percent in 2013.
Central Visayas’ economic growth, on the other hand, accelerated to 8.8 percent last year from 7.4 percent in 2013, said Ariel E. Florendo, Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) interim regional director, in a news conference yesterday.
The region expanded by an average of 9.04 percent yearly in the past five years while the Philippines grew by an average of only 6.24 percent in the same period.
Central Visayas ranked 3rd among the 17 regions, next to Davao Region (9.4 percent) and Central Luzon (9 percent).
Florendo clarified that while Davao grew at a faster pace, Central Visayas made the larger contribution to the national economy.
Efren B. Carreon, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) regional director, said Central Visayas is expected to grow faster this year on the back of robust information technology – business process management (IT-BPM), retail trade and tourism sectors.
He was confident of meeting this year’s growth target of 9.7 percent to 11.9 percent for the region, citing the competitiveness awards received recently by Cebu province, Cebu City and Jagna town in Bohol.
“These clearly indicate that business and consumer confidence in the economy is still very high, and support our optimism in hitting our growth targets for 2015,” he said.
Tourism is expected to get a boost with the holding of a series of high-level Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings from August to September as well as the preparations for the International Eucharistic Congress in 2016.
Both will be held in Cebu, the biggest contributor to the gross regional domestic product (GRDP) of Central Visayas.
GRDP, the total value of goods and services produced in a region, is used in making policy and business decisions. It is also one of the indicators considered for wage adjustments.
The services sector contributed the biggest share of 54.6 percent to the GRDP, followed by the industry sector with 39.4 percent and agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing (AHFF) with 6 percent.
The services sector slowed down to 6.6 percent in 2014 from 6.9 percent in 2013 while the industry sector recorded a higher growth rate of 13.9 percent last year from 9.5 percent in 2013.
Industry’s faster pace was attributed mainly to the surge in construction activities, which grew by 24.7 percent in 2014 from 2.2 percent the previous year.