MAC/20: Mines and Communities

World Bank tells the Philippines not to rely too much on IT

Published by MAC on 2002-10-21


World Bank tells RP not to rely too much on IT

By Doris C. Dumlao

Philippine Daily Inquirer, October 21, 2002

The Philippines should not rely too much on the volatile information technology sector and should instead tap the huge export potentials offered by mining and agriculture, the World Bank has said.

In a recently released report on its country assistance strategy for 2003 to 2005, the World Bank said the Philippines should diversify its exports to promote a more broad-based economic growth.

In 2001, the country's export earnings contracted by about 15 percent, as its biggest dollar earner-the electronics manufacturing industry-was battered by a US-led global slowdown.

The World Bank noted that export growth of Philippine crops, with the exception of a few such as mango, banana and rubber, had significantly declined in the last decade.

"Mineral exports, which have the potential to generate more than $1 billion in export earnings and $400 million in tax revenues, have languished," it added.

The World Bank urged the Philippine government to allow 100-percent foreign ownership of domestic mining firms and issue clear environmental standards, safeguards and monitoring procedures.

These actions could mobilize the investments required to fully tap the economic potential of the mining sector, it said.

"Private entrepreneurship and investment also need to be more wisely dispersed. While the National Capital Region will continue to be the growth pole, increasing private sector activity in backward regions is essential," it said.

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