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NEDA-7 confident CV to sustain robust growth

CEBU, Philippines — The National Economic and Development Authority sees a sustained economic growth for Central Visayas this year, with prospects for the various economic sectors remain bullish.

NEDA regional director Efren Carreon said the Central Visayas economy is expected to remain robust this year and onwards.

The tourism industry along with other economic drivers of the region such as IT-BPO, retail trade and construction industries will continue propel the growth of the regional economy in 2018.

The region's tourism sector is poised to accelerate its growth momentum with the opening of MCIA's Terminal 2 and new Panglao Airport in Bohol middle this year.

The P17.5-billion MCIA Terminal 2 is well on its way to be completed ahead of its June 2018 target completion.

"International flights are expected to increase with these new facilities that would result to increase visitor arrivals and bigger tourism expenditures. This would generate multiplier effects in the local economy," he said.

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The IT-BPO industry will also remain a strong economic driver as Cebu and Negros Oriental continue to attract investments.

The shift of the industry focus to higher value-added types of services is expected to persist considering that this is the general trend observed in the Philippine outsourcing sector.

The region also looks forward to the entry of the first major IT-BPO investment in Bohol after the Department of Information and Communications Technology signed a commitment to support the province's bid to become an IT-BPO investment haven during the 5th Visayas ICT Organization Conference held in Bohol.

As in previous years, the retail trade industry will benefit from increased consumer spending. This increase in spending capacity of the working class will be enhanced with the implementation of the tax reform law.

"Some retailers have started to expand not only in the urban areas but also in the countryside," he said.

The sustained growth of the region's tourism, IT-BPO, retail trade and real estate industries will continue to create impetus for the region's construction sector to grow.

The sector will further be boosted by the implementation of the administration's Build, Build, Build program. This would have very positive impact on employment and demand for construction materials.

Carreon noted the export and agriculture industries, which have been performing dismally in recent years, are also expected to turn in a positive performance this year.

"With the increase of non-electronic products in the region's exports, specifically furniture and processed food and beverages, it is expected that this will create higher demand for local raw materials which are good for local producers," he added.


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