By JOSE B PEREZ
NAGA CITY: Eduardo R. Nicolas III, a local boy from Ragay, CamSur who studied in a good school in this city and became a top executive of Toyota Motors Philippines with its plant in Laguna, has painted a changing movement in the country’s economic outlook due to factors obtaining both inside and outside of our shores.
Speaking before his fellow Bicolano businessmen during the first quarter general membership meeting of the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc (MNCCI) here recently, Nicolas urged local entrepreneurs and consumers to focus on patronizing and improving local products and ultimately make them competitive with foreign goods.
He said that unlike in the past good years for some industries, the year just passed has seen a negative trend in real estate and certain services like physical therapy, especially among global clients.
On the other hand, he looks at the new sectors such as entertainment and casino gambling, and tsunami-damaged products from Japan, and old clothes (ukay-ukay) from Australia and Canada continuing to create business opportunities for some entrepreneurs.
“Pati basura nila dinadala dito sa atin, which is a grave insult that should challenge us to promote and improve on what we have,” he said referring to a fleet of container vans from Australia that has been recently uncovered in Manila’s port area.
He said we should go back to Proudly Pinoy products because this is an inclusive endeavor that belongs to Filipino entrepreneurs and manufacturers, hence encouraging less competition.
He said this is imperative in the light of the forthcoming Asean Economic Integration come 2015 when products from Asean member-countries will be competing with each other in terms of quality and cost and similarity of materials considering that we belong to a single region with similar raw materials and natural resources.
When that time comes, it will be a contest of creativity, cost effectiveness, and aggressive marketing strategies among the Asean craftsmen and manufacturers, he said.
He foresees, though, that because of other nations’ confidence on the new leadership and its serious campaign against graft and corruption, many foreign investors will be coming back to do business here. He specially mentioned that many Japanese companies will soon be coming back for a resurgent Japan, Inc. vis-à-vis the head-on competition being posed by China and Korea.
He also anticipates the favorable outcomes once the Asean Economic Integration come into play in 2015. - BicolMail