Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, chairman of one of the Philippines’ leading conglomerates Ayala Corp., said the government’s continuing infrastructure roll out, tourism and digitalization are creating externalities that will become top sources of new jobs in the country.
Representing the private sector during the Investors’ Briefing conducted by the Philippine government to drum up President Marcos Jr’s visit to New York in time for the UN General Assembly, Zobel cited the government’s pronouncement to bring infrastructure contribution to 5 percent of GDP.
“That will create a tremendous impetus to many other industries,” he said stressing that the “externalities that come with infrastructure growth are tremendous.”
On tourism, he said, it is an area with huge potential for jobs creation as this will be boosted by infrastructure projects that would improve access to tourist destinations.
With infrastructure rollout, Zobel said, there will be tremendous opportunities that will come to the pandemic hit tourism sector, which has massive positive externalities to many different levels of the society.
The third source of jobs, he said, will come from the changing nature of digital infrastructure. He cited the prioritization that the central bank has put on digitalization.
The digital infrastructure front in the economy also offers tremendous opportunities for investors. In fact, he said, “I’ve never seen so many investments going into data centers, as I’ve seen in the last couple of years.”
Zobel further shared his observation that it is not just Philippine companies, but a great number of foreign companies have come in and started setting up data centers in the country.
“This feeds not only the payment infrastructure, but also entertainment, many other areas that drive our economy. And we’re excited about that,” he said.
With digitalization, he said, the country has seen fundamental change in the way commerce is taking place with massive investments in logistics with the support of the banking sector. “E commerce has begun to take off,” he said.
This area also creates many exciting externalities fueling jobs creation with both local and foreign groups coming in, he added.
With this exciting new ecosystem that is developing in the country, Zobel said, he remained “very optimistic” noting that the role of the private sector is to support the government’s growth agenda.
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The article was originally published in Manila Bulletin and written by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat.