MANILA — Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez foresees the country’s manufacturing sector breaching a 10 percent growth next year.
“It is possible to sustain 10 to 11 percent growth,” Lopez told reporters on the sidelines of the Manufacturing Summit 2017 held at Hotel Fairmont Makati on Wednesday.
It was noted that the government eyes an 8 to 10 percent manufacturing growth until the end of the Duterte administration.
During the third quarter of the year, manufacturing had the highest contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) growth, as the sector rose 9.4 percent year-on-year.
Lopez said the manufacturing sector may breach the 10 percent growth starting 2018.
The trade chief cited policies to encourage local production of products that the country imports.
In 2012, the DTI launched the Industry Development Plan (IDP) to increase the manufacturing sector’s contribution to GDP and employment.
DTI Assistant Secretary Rafaelita Aldaba said the average growth of the manufacturing sector in the post-IDP period was only at 3.8 percent in 2007 to 2011.
Manufacturing growth was boosted in 2012 to 2016 after the introduction of IDP, with the sector’s average growth at 7.3 percent.
Likewise, the average GDP growth in 2007 to 2011 was at 4.6 percent, compared to the 2012 to 2016 average expansion of 6.6 percent.
For Ayala Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, the fourth industrial revolution will further support the manufacturing growth of the country.
Ayala stressed the need to invest in technology, such as digital transformation, automation, and connectivity, to improve production capacity, increase competency, and make manufacturing more cost-efficient.