Written by John Carlo Tria

In this week’s column we examine trends and forecasts to encourage entrepreneurs to examine areas of growth as we recover. The lower GDP contraction in the fourth quarter of 2020 shows a continuous trend of recovery. We look at trends because they help us see how and where things are going which matters more than where we came from.

To expand and drive recovery even further, we need to push for economic reforms currently pending in congress that can strengthen our economy, expand our economic openness for investments, to make us competitive with our neighbors in the desire for investments and recovery.

Likewise, forecasts of various agencies see growth in 2021. The recent UNCTAD report of foreign direct investments in the Philippines rising by 29 percent to $6.4 billion 2020 can be expanded further with economic reforms. Foreign direct investments (FDI) in the Philippines rose by 29 percent to $6.4 billion 2020. (https://mb.com.ph/2021/01/25/ph-bucks-trend-fdi-rose-29-in-2020-unctad/).

Resilience tips

Having learned vital lessons and seeing recovery trends in the last quarter of 2020, here are some tips to push our own recovery and resilience. Apart from going online to offer your products and services, three tips gathered from entrepreneur friends include the following:

One, diversify your business. See which related businesses you can enter, even partnering with your suppliers.

Second, go farm direct, that is, contract or buy your raw materials to make your products directly from farms or farmers near your area. In many cities in the Visayas and mindanao, this is not very difficult since farms are often located 40 minutes to an hour away. This will assure you of high quality and affordable produce you need. The good news is that many farmers, perhaps through their children, and farmer cooperatives have begun putting together social media pages to reach a wider market, beyond the traditional buyers and traders. A third tip is to renegotiate your loans or seek better refinancing options for current loans.

Apart from these tips, faith will be very important as it allows and encourages us to look beyond the noise and grants us the chance to focus on trends and forecasts, and opportunities I wrote about earlier. Focus strengthens our sense of leadership in our businesses, delving deeply into our capabilities and strengths, away from negativity and despair that often tempts us to give up. Many I know have laid low or given up only to let opportunity pass them by. As many of us have learned lessons from 2020, we take stock of them and move forward!

Cover image from Pexels.

Article first appeared in the Manila Bulletin website last February 1, 2021.


John Carlo Tria is a management consultant specializing in business development, compliance and project management in the natural resources sector.

He specializes in business development, compliance, and project management in the agricultural, energy, and natural resources industries. He also conducts socio-economic research, education, and awareness campaigns for projects in these industries.

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