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In 2000-2011, we attracted an average of $1.1 billion in net foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows per year, a pittance against Singapore’s $14.8 billion, Thailand’s $4.5 billion, Vietnam’s $3.9 billion, and Indonesia’s $2.3 billion. But last year, our net FDI inflows already amounted to $3.9 billion, nearly four times the earlier average annual figure. Impressive? Not quite, once you consider that our neighbors have already pulled away even farther. Last year, Indonesia attracted $18.4 billion; Vietnam got $8.9 billion, Thailand $13 billion, and Singapore $61 billion. In short, given our neighbors’ figures, and considering our faster economic growth, we should have drawn in even more FDI than we did. So why didn’t we?

Posted: September 23rd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Pitching in for inclusive growth

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I’m often asked what needs to be done for our country to achieve inclusive growth, or economic growth with widest participation and whose attendant benefits are felt by all. We all know our economy has lately been growing faster than most in the region, but having that growth come from a broader base and uplift the lives of the least endowed among us remains elusive.

Posted: September 2nd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

DOT must take the lead, asap

The observation of former socioeconomic planning secretary Cielito F. Habito about the long, unnecessary queues that an outbound Filipino traveler has to go through in paying his travel tax is very valid and deserves to be quickly addressed by the Department of Tourism, if only to show that it is part of the national effort to make public service something the Filipinos can be proud of (“Airport lines and ICT woes,” Opinion, 6/24/14).

Posted: July 10th, 2014 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Treading tricky terrain

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Muslim Mindanao, now known as Bangsamoro, had been an undiscovered gem in the rough through the years.

Posted: June 10th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘Tamang daan’

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Last week, I asserted that certain all-too-common excuses for government failures or outright misdeeds have become little more than convenient cop-outs, to wit: “We don’t have enough budget,” “It’s not my responsibility,” “We can’t act until prior problems are solved first,” “Some sectors will be hurt,” and “It’s a political demolition job.”

Posted: April 29th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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