Written by John Carlo Tria
In the midst of the disruptions we are experiencing, important news about the smaller GDP contraction in the third quarter and other economic developments show a strengthening economy, which is vital as we continue to engage the new normal, and the coming new year.
Moving forward, an important part of the road to recovery and resilience in the growing digital economy.
In the MB article on the report released by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company released on the E-Conomy SEA 2020 last week, this economy is now worth $7.5 billion, and is slated to grow even more. This will encourage many companies, especially in the regions to enter this growing economy.
The Southeast Asian Internet economy is now at $100 billion in 2020, possibly crossing $300 billion by 2025. This is a new frontier we all have to enter, as this will allow safe transactions even across national borders. (https://mb.com.ph/2020/11/11/e-commerce-drives-ph-digital-economy-growth/)
Knowing this, It is vital to note that as the new normal is upon us, there is and should no longer be any distinction between digital native and digital agnostic.
Senior citizens now spend time on apps communicating with peers just like their grandchildren. With that, we are all digital citizens, with the QR codes we hold to the apps on our phones, food delivery services and online purchases we make, and the fact that we spend more time on the Internet for many other things.
All of these will be essential tools with which we transact daily lives and trade. It is now commonplace in many countries and will definitely be more a part of our own business culture.
In particular, the Internet-based trade in the regions will provide a way for many Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to enter a larger market and access new customers even outside their towns and cities and countries. We must all work to help many of the MSMES, and agri entrepreneurs enter this new sea of opportunities, and ups the chance for recovery.
Recently passed by the Senate, the Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer or FIST bill will allow banks and financial institutions to offload non-performing or bad loans and assets to third-party entities like asset management companies. This money in turn can be free to be lent to others and be productive, especially businesses needing financing and credit at this important time of recovery.
New Mindanao malls
The news from Mindanao’s business sphere is abuzz with reports of two new malls opening in Butuan city and Zamboanga City. This will definitely boost trade activities and give many local suppliers a market for their products in a safe environment.
Boosting manufacturing and investment promotion through technology
As I had written previously, its a good idea to take advantage of technology like online meetings to network and promote investments, parricularly job generating manufacturing enterprises in the regions. Many online meetings serve as business matching platforms to introduce investment partnerships, even virtual walk-throughs of possible investment sites.
This is all the more important for the current time of disruptions, as many manufacturing companies may be thinking of regional expansions to help work around disruptions.
Let us continue to maintain health protocols and boost the economy!
Cover image by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels
Article first appeared in the Manila Bulletin website last November 16, 2020.