Glamorous Products from the Philippines

Monday, November 9, 2009

It seems that the perception about the Philippines as a non-competitive country with regards to manufacturing is becoming true. Many well-known manufacturers have already left the country including Colgate-Palmolive, Caltex, Intel, and now Goodyear. And then those who are left behind are not expanding. It seem also that there are less and less businessmen investing in manufacturing. The reasons are many, such as undeveloped infrastructure, high power cost, inefficient bureaucracy, and what else, graft and corruption. All these make products made in the Philippines uncompetitive in the world market.

Well, the problems besetting the Filipino manufacturers are real. Yet I, for one, believes there is a way out. Let's produce high quality products that do not compete on price alone.

Let us focus on quality. Let us train and equip the Filipinos with design skills. I believe the Philippines can become a design capital not only for handicraft products but also for industrial products as well. It is often said that Filipino engineers and workers are world-class. It is for this reason that Filipinos are deployed in factories in many countries.

Let us name a few glamorous products where the Philippines can become a formidable competitor:

1. Designer clothes and footwear
2. Jewelry
3. Furniture and home furnishing
4. Handicraft items
5. Textiles and fabrics from natural fibers
6. Processed foods such as organic and halal products
7. Herbal products like medicines, essential oils and fragrances
8. Industrial products with unique designs

Of course there is a need for a strong support from big business and the government especially in the areas of marketing, technology transfer, and financing. Yes we can do it.


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