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Business Agenda

Japan 5 years after the tsunami

Tokyo – Five years ago, to be exact March 11, 2011, was the day not only Japanese people will remember but the world as well as they witnessed the devastation created by the impact of the intensity 7, the largest earthquake ever recorded in Japan, the ensuing tsunami and nuclear disaster. But what was so amazing was the government’s swift and careful support following the disaster. Shinya Fujita, counselor for press and international affairs of the Reconstruction Agency during a briefing with visiting ASEAN journalists that right after the Great East Japan Earthquake, the Japanese government promptly formulated budgets, modified laws and orders and established a new organization within the Cabinet. On that fateful day, the Emergency Disaster Response Headquarters was established. In May to November, the government allocated supplementary budgets for reconstruction …

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The unofficial inside stories of Madrid Fusion

In this corner last week, I promised an insider’s story of how the Filipino delegation fared at the recently concluded Madrid Fusion exposition in Spain. Without going ahead of myself, let me say that the Philippines was very well represented and that every Filipino would have been proud at how the country was put forward. Team Philippines was lead by Verna Buensuceso of the Department of Tourism, supported by Joselito Gregorio and Arnold Gonzales of the Tourism Promotions Board. Under their baton, the Philippines achieved maximum exposure despite the fact that Thailand was the official partner country for this event. Credit too must be given to the Spanish organizers, Foro de Debate, for clearly favoring the Philippines. It was one of those times I was happy to see nepotism working in …

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Credit access flows to farmers

Fifty-two Agrarian Reform Beneficiary (ARB) cooperatives already benefitted from the microfinance (MF) capacity development program partnership of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, Inc. (CARD, Inc.) since the partnership started in 2008. ARB refers to farmers who were granted lands under Presidential Decree No. 27, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law, and Republic Act No. 9700 or the "Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Extension with Reforms". The implementation of the joint project for partner organizations is to provide sustained credit to ARBs. The project is largely designed as a capacity-building of ARB cooperatives in selected Agrarian Reform Communities (ARCs) to become MF service providers. According to DAR BARBD Director Susana Evangelista-Leones, the project provides interventions that would further enhance the existing cooperatives’ credit and MF services as well …

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Top traits of entrepreneurs: Curious, upbeat, in charge

Entrepreneurs are people who “like to learn things, want to enjoy life, and like to be in charge and tell others what to do.” These are the top traits of entrepreneurs as perceived by respondents in the first Amway Entrepreneurial Spirit Index (AESI) by the 2015 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER). The AESI measures entrepreneurial spirit in three dimensions including desirability, feasibility, and stability against social pressure derived from acclaimed psychologist Icek Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior. The index also measures attitude and potential. Respondents characterize business owners as people who “look for adventures and like to take risks” (70 percent), “think the safety of their country is very important” (70 percent), and “like to stand out and impress other people” (68 percent). Those under 35 years (73 percent) are more convinced that …

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Madrid Fusion impacts PH country brand

Madrid Fusion is an annual event that brings together the world’s best culinary minds. It is where the latest food trends are contemplated, the newest food philosophies are discussed, and where the best practices in restaurant management are shared. It is also the forum where undiscovered ethnic cuisines are reintroduced to the global culinary community. Bar none, it is the world’s most important gastronomic event. Founded in 2003 by Jose Carlos Capel, Madrid Fusion is where the future of gastronomy is charted. In 2012, I recall Department of Tourism Secretary Mon Jimenez telling me how his department was busy preparing to pitch Manila as the first venue for Madrid Fusion outside Spain. We were in stiff competition with Singapore who was also making a bid for the event. In the end, …

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ZAMA production plant opens in the Philippines

Carburetors manufacturer for small off-road engines and a subsidiary of the STIHL Group, ZAMA recently opened a new production plant in Santo Tomas Batangas in the Philippines last January 20, 2016. In a statement, STIHL Executive Board Chairman Dr. Bertram Kandziora emphasized the strategic significance of the new factory. “We expect further worldwide growth, and have created additional capacity with this new project. It enables us to consolidate and grow our present market share, minimize risks and at the same time, keep customer satisfaction at a high level. In addition, it will increase our competitiveness,” said Kandziora. The new facility covers a total land area of almost 60,000 square meters and offers about 22,000 square meters of production, warehouse, and office floor space. Series production is due to start in April 2016 and …

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Franchising sector optimistic for record 2016 growth

With the optimistic outlook on the Philippine economy and the increasing number of growth areas for the franchising sector, the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) is optimistic of attaining record 30 percent growth in 2016. According to the new PFA President Dr. Alan Escalona, the franchise sector may grow to as high as 30 percent this year. This optimism comes from many factors which include the steady economic forecasts and studies such as that of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund with projections of 6.4 percent and 6.2 percent  Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth respectively for 2016. Apart from country’s bright economic outlook, Escalona noted that personal optimism of Filipinos has also increased. Escalona cited the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted from December 5 to 8 last year, which showed that …

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Millennials are dissatisfied, leaving their jobs – survey

Four in 10 of millennial employees are thinking of resigning within the next two years because they don’t feel their leadership skills have been developed enough, survey said. Millennials are those born after 1982 or those individuals who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century although the precise delineation varies from one source to another. By 2020, millennials are also expected to comprise half of the global workforce. Deloitte’s fifth annual Millennial Survey, released by local member practice Navarro Amper & Co., said this dissatisfaction among millennial employees stems partly from feelings of being underutilized and the perception that they are not being developed as leaders: 62 percent of Filipino millennials say their leadership skills are not being fully developed in their current organization. Among those who said they plan …

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The next phase of Gawad Kalinga’s advocacy

Last week, I was invited to attend the 3rd Global Social Business Summit at Gawad Kalinga’s (GK) Enchanted Farm in Angat, Bulacan. I had not heard of this summit before, neither have I heard of GK’s Enchanted Farm. I was told, however, that PNoy was delivering the opening remarks while government and industry heavyweights like Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Bikram Chaudhury of Credit Suisse and Tony Del Rosario of Coca-Cola would be speaking. The event must be a big deal, I thought. I accepted the invitation not knowing what to expect. After PNoy delivered his speech, I lingered for a while to get a feel of what the affair was all about. As first impressions go, I was surprised at the number of delegates in attendance not only from the Philippines …

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Investments move to areas where talents are

Countries’ capability to produce highly-skilled workers leads to economic growth because investors are expanding to areas where there is a certain pool of talent that can match their requirements. That is what has been happening in the Philippines, according to Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI). The Philippines is now the world’s leading outsourcing destination because of its highly-skilled English-speaking young population. Certain functions by multinational corporations are being serviced by Filipinos in the Philippines. Their clients’ questions and needs are resolved online from the Philippines. Investors are leveraging on these top caliber talents at cheaper rates than when these services are sourced onshore. GTCI, which is an annual study released by INSEAD, the business school for the world, in partnership with the Adecco Group and the Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore …

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