Embracing new technologies key to achieving rapid growth

The Philippines can equip the youths with skills of the future through embracing new technologies to achieve rapid growth enjoyed by other countries that use innovation as a vehicle for boosting national incomes.

Ruben Pascual, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Secretary General, said the competitive advantage of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Asia is the technology-oriented “demographic dividend”.

“This technology mindset could and should be oriented to our innovation, starting to channel this mindset into important skills such as the use of data analytics, mobile development, artificial intelligence, cloud technology and web design,” he said during the National Innovation Day 2023.

Pascual said preparing the young workers for industries of the future thus could “bring us to the rapid growth path that China, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Israel were able to achieve through innovation and applying higher values for their respective economies.”

He underscored the importance of innovation especially as the Philippine economy is set to rebound from the pandemic.

“Innovation will allow us to leapfrog from where we are now to where we want to be in the next few years. Innovation is recognized as a driver for attracting investments aiming for competitiveness in the global market, creating more jobs and achieving overall development,” he added.

Pascual said the PCCI is committed to support the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the Department of Science and Technology and other stakeholders in “Filipinnovation” in strengthening the country’s innovation ecosystem to provide better and greater opportunities for businesses and Filipino workers.

For his part, World Bank operations manager for the Philippines Dr. Achim Fock said the Philippines has several high profile innovative sectors and companies such as in automotive, aerospace, business process outsourcing (BPOs), ecommerce, financial technology (fintech) and other digital services.

“Since the Covid crisis, the adaptation of digital technologies has been increasing steadily and many of these Philippine companies and innovative (ones) have presence in other countries in the region. More needs to be done,” he said.

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