With the advent of ASEAN economic integration, the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) regional office here cited the importance of infrastructure development in order for the Philippines to get at par with the neighboring Southeast Asia countries.
NEDA regional director Severino Santos said that with the free flow of goods, services, investment capital and skilled labor, the enhancement of infrastructures are among the vital factors needed to cope up with the challenges and opportunities of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
The roads, airports, seaports are the platforms where the economic activities are being done. Those are the access needed for the movement of goods, services, investment capital and people from the Philippines to our neighboring ASEAN countries. Thus, improved and upgraded infrastructures are keys for our country to be competitive in the ASEAN region, Santos said.
Aside from skilled workers, he said that Central Luzon has an edge to confront the challenges of ASEAN integration.
Here in Central Luzon, we have the Clark airport and Subic seaport. Those are important gateways which we can use to directly participate in the ASEAN economic community, he said.
With the economic integration, the NEDA official also said that there is big potentials for the ASEAN countries to be competitive in the world markets like North America and Europe.
Thus, he asked the residents in Central Luzon to utilize their full potentials to cope with the challenges of ASEAN economic integration.
The NEDA, together with other concerned government agencies, have been conducting series of lectures to stakeholders in Central Luzon in preparation for the impending ASEAN economic integration.
The ASEAN integration sets in motion the creation of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), a single market spanning the 10-nation bloc that includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The integration is envisioned to usher in a freer flow of goods, services, investment and skilled labor in Southeast Asia with trade barriers out of the way.(PNA)