BrightWorld

Dreams, Optimism, Wisdom

PHILIPPINES & ASIA CHEER UP GLOBAL ECONOMY FOR 2011 December 9, 2010

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

The yearend Holidays are now nearing, and so we all better cheer up for the forthcoming holiday season. As early as November, Christmas trees and gigantic lanterns were already set up in malls and public places in the Philippines, a very thoughtful way of demonstrating love and generosity.

 

There is much reason for the global economy to cheer up for 2011 as indicated by our own very optimistic business environment and national economy here in the Philippines. Our region ASEAN is mightily growing at robust rates, India and Korea are doing good, and China is very heatedly growing.

 

As already discussed by various analysts and writers, ASEAN + China + India + South Korea—dubbed as ‘Asian economy’—have been the growth drivers of the global economy as a whole. High growth rates, well managed liquidities, healthy macro-economic fundamentals, and high foreign exchange reserves all converge as multi-factor drivers of growth in Asia. As a result, consumption is still moving up here, thus compounding the growth toward sustained heights all the more.

 

The Philippines has its own good news to share to the globe. A ‘Santa Claus’ list of glad tidings shows the following:

 

  • Philippine currency is the 2nd best in Asia. Strong and trustable, even treasuries and bonds denominated in Peso are selling like hot potatoes.

 

  • Foreign Exchange Reserves are at an all-time high of $56+ Billion (end of October), enough to buy almost a year of merchandise imports.

 

  • Growth rate as of the 1st two (2) quarters was at a whopping 7.9%, showing mightily good production levels. Yearend growth rate would be no less than 6.5% at the minimum, a figure that will be sustained well through 2011 and beyond.

 

  • Local bourse has hit a high-time figure of 4,200+ points recently. This is way above the psychological breakpoint of 2,000 points (that now looks very Jurassic), and will optimistically breach 5,000 points by 2011.

 

  • Overall GDP per capita (nominal) will breach $2,000 and will move up rapidly to the next levels over the next few years. Purchasing power parity or PPP per capita will exceed $10,000 around 2013-‘14.

 

  • State wages have been moving up by 15% per annum consistently for couples of years now. This move drives up private sector wages as well. Wages will again move up in strides from 2011 to 2016.

 

  • Inflation has been reduced down further, and will stay comfortably at the 2.5%-3.5% range by 2011. This is welcome news for a nation that is so fed up with hyper-inflations in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

 

  • Unemployment has been going down steadily, and will be at a manageable level of 8% or lower by 2011. Rising growth rate can then be sufficient to address the other problem of underemployment.

 

  • Exports and imports, or foreign trade, have returned to pre-global recession levels, thus contributing to more employment and higher wages.

 

  • Filipino businessmen’s investments overseas have moved up, and will continue to expand in 2011 and beyond. These contribute to overseas remittances and employment of Filipino labor and experts abroad.

 

The list is longer than the above-stated, though suffice us to take note of that short list. Those items are fundamental to sustaining the economic machine year by year, reduce poverty till the middle class dominates the population, and shoot up human development to notches higher than today’s indices.

 

Japan, USA and EU are on economic fires but the dampening situations there won’t totally hurt the global economy. Emerging markets have done their best to insulate themselves against the fiascos and fires of the northern economies, thus enabling them to serve as the hope of the world.

 

The cheery environment of Asia should better be the one focused upon by our global citizens, a cheer that serves as the ‘Santa Claus grin’ of the global economy as a whole for this year and the ones forthcoming.

 

[Philippines, 06 December 2010]

 

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: http://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: https://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]

 

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ADDRESSING TEHCNO-INNOVATIONS – BUSINESS GAP IN CHINA October 18, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Gracious day to everyone!

From China comes a news item highlighting the gap between technology innovations and the business community. The observation is that the gap is a yawning one. This gap has been observed among other Asians that proceeded with the industrialization development track couples of decades back.

The new is contained below.

[Writ 07 October 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to SciDev database news.]

Chinese innovation ‘too isolated’

Jia Hepeng

23 September 2008 | EN | 中文

Flickr/Pere Tubert Juhe

[ZHENGZHOU AND BEIJING] For China to become a world leader in innovation, it should address regional differences and promote corporate input, according to a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The report, released this month (11 September), acknowledges that with spending on research and development (R&D) matching that of Germany, China is already a global player in science and technology.

But the country lags in innovation capability and performance compared to OECD countries with a similar level of R&D investment, although China ranked second in global publications levels in 2006.

According to the report, China’s innovation system is not fully developed and inadequately integrated. It describes the system as an “archipelago”, a large number of “innovative islands” with insufficient links between them.

Current regional patterns of R&D and innovation create too great a physical separation between knowledge producers and potential users, the authors say.

In addition, although foreign investment in China has increasingly contributed to innovation, the domestic business sector has been slow to make productive use of accumulated R&D investment, human resources for science and technology, and related infrastructure, the report indicates.

The Chinese government is looking to address this. For example, a recent study found that of 22 Chinese biotechnology firms investigated, all had received government funding (see Regulations ‘hinder’ China biotech investment).

But besides funding companies directly, “it is important for China to improve the framework conditions for innovation, which will contribute to building an innovation culture and provide the conditions and incentives for firms to shift their attention to innovation,” Gang Zhang of the OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry and one of the report’s authors, told SciDev.Net.

And Feng Jun, president of Beijing Huaqi Information Digital Technology, a leading Chinese technology company, says the government has distributed its funding too evenly among companies, instead of focusing on a few to gain key breakthroughs.

Link to the executive summary of OECD report 

 

S & T POLICY AND INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: IRAQ UPDATE October 12, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Good morning from Manila!

It seems the excitement in Iraq’s S&T is moving to higher pitches, despite the noise and flames of the ensuing war there. The policy environment is getting to be more definitive, and a new state institution is being installed to address S&T research and development needs of the country.

See the exciting news below.

[Writ 06 October 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to SciDev database news.]

 

New authority and law to push Iraqi research

Wagdy Sawahel

26 September 2008 | EN | 中文

Flickr/rxwarren

Iraq is to establish a scientific research authority (SRA) to promote science and technology research and improve science policy, and will consider a new law offering scientists significant financial benefits.

The SRA was announced by Abd Dhiab al-Ajili, the Iraqi minister for higher education and scientific research last week (15 September).

It will function independently from the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MHESR) and have a separate, as yet undisclosed, budget. Its exact start date has yet to be decided.

The authority will oversee all of the science and technology centres associated with universities and have the capacity to fund research directly. It will also prepare science policy reports reviewing subjects including best practice for funding research, measuring the quality of scientific research, and methods for knowledge dissemination.

The SRA will suggest educational programmes and provide analysis for the MHESR on Iraq’s needs to build its scientific and technological capacity. It will also provide advice to the MHESR and university science centres on topics such as ethics, socioeconomic impact, health and environmental concerns and intellectual property rights.

The Iraqi government is also set to consider a new law aiming to persuade scientists, innovators and engineers abroad to return to the country.

Samir Ibrahim Abbas, deputy director-general at the Iraq Ministry of Science and Technology and a member of the ministerial committee preparing the law, says a draft will be ready within six weeks and submitted to the government.

The proposed law also offers incentives to top scientists and innovators working in Iraq.

These include increased salaries — currently on average less than US$1,000 a month — of 300–350 per cent making it equivalent to the Iraqi deputy ministerial salary level. Other benefits include exemption from the mandatory retirement age of 63 years and preferential treatment and reduced prices when buying land for housing.

Abbas says the law will reward different levels of scientists and innovators depending on their scientific achievements.

Scientists would be expected to apply for the benefits, overseen by a central body comprising representatives from scientific committees in different scientific and technological fields who would be responsible for the evaluation and assessment of candidates. 

 

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC UPS ICT USE September 19, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

If there is anything I wish from the Dominican Republic, it is that the leaders of this esteemed nation will tell the world powers and all other countries to “shut up you bellicose lunatics and take down your armies!” Should the DomRepublicans say that, I will re-echo the message here in ASEAN and say “shut up you blabbermouth warmongers and close down your armies!”

That’s a mere wish thing though. More realistically, a news from our esteemed DomRepublican friends pronounced the increasing usage of ICT in their home country. Latin Americans better pay attention to this news, such as Mexico which seems bent on fattening its oligarchs’ purses from non-sensical if not criminal rent-seeking engagements at the expense of high-tech progress.

The great news is contained below.

[28 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to SciDev database news.] 

 

Crece uso de las TIC en República Dominicana

Fuente: 7 Días

13 agosto 2008 | ES

73,4% de los dominicanos tiene celular

El 67,1 por ciento de los hogares dominicanos tiene acceso al teléfono celular; el 24,5 por ciento al teléfono fijo y el 5,1 por ciento a Internet.

Además, el 34,3 por ciento de las personas mayores de 12 años usa la computadora y el 25,4 por ciento Internet. En este mismo rango de edad, el 73,4 por ciento de los dominicanos tiene acceso al teléfono celular.

Así lo revelan datos preliminares de la Encuesta Nacional de Hogares de Propósitos Múltiples (ENHOGAR), en su versión de 2007, difundidos el pasado 7 de agosto, según consigna el diario 7 Días.

De acuerdo con el diario, para el director de la Oficina Nacional de Estadísticas, Pablo Tactuk, estos datos muestran que los esfuerzos por insertar al país en la sociedad de la información han dado sus frutos.

Sin embargo, agrega 7 Días, al referirse a la penetración de las tecnologías de la información y la comunicación (TIC) en el país, Tactuk “reconoció que existen diferencias ‘notables’ atendiendo a las características socioeconómicas, geográficas y de escolaridad en el acceso a estas tecnologías por lo que llamó a redoblar los esfuerzos para incluir a los sectores que están rezagados”.

Artículo completo en 7 Días

 

INDONESIA SHOWCASES E-LEARNING FOR SMEs, YOUTH September 15, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

From our esteem neighbor Indonesia comes a very heartwarming news about enabling its e-learning programs for (a) the small & medium enterprises and (b) youth. E-learning is not new to Indonesia nor to any of the 10-member states of ASEAN, though there are admittedly certain sectors where the technology divide is still a reality.

Taiwan’s stakeholders entered the scene as co-partners with the Indonesian stakeholders to fast-track the e-learning services and bridge the digital divide in the sectors concerned.

Below is the news caption about the e-learning project.

[28 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to SciDev database news.]

 

Indonesia profits from Taiwan e-learning scheme

Ella Syafputri

12 August 2008 | EN

Indonesian students are among those benefiting from the scheme

Flickr/kinjengnet

[JAKARTA] Indonesian students, businesses and government officials are benefiting from a Taiwanese scheme to bridge the digital divide in developing countries.

Some 3,500 people and businesses have been trained in six e-learning centres sponsored by the Taiwan government in three Indonesian cities: Bandung, Jakarta and Yogyakarta.

The programme of transferable ICT skills has proven to be useful for participants, says Lester Leu, deputy director at the economic division of the Taiwan Economy and Trade Office (TETO).

“After taking part in e-learning programmes, some students and small and medium enterprises [SMEs] start to access technology and get better life opportunities. Many students and SMEs immediately set up e-commerce both for domestic and international markets,” Lester told SciDev.Net.

Lester said Taiwan started establishing the centres in 2006 and the work was finished by May 2008.

“The centres aim to bridge the digital divide as well as enhance ICT capabilities in Indonesia. Some specialisations occur in e-learning centres, such as increasing access for women, SMEs or children,” he says.

Lester says the programme has been particularly beneficial for participants from poorer communities, and the centres train high school teachers so they can pass on the skills to a larger number of people.

“Every year, we invite ICT experts from Indonesia to Taiwan to exchange experience and competencies. There is an annual local competition in e-commerce utilisation and the winners are invited to Taiwan as well,” he adds.

By the end of this year, Taiwan expects to have opened 41 e-learning centres in seven developing countries — Chile, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam — under a programme approved by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

The Taiwan government proposed the APEC Digital Opportunity Center (ADOC) initiative during the 2003 APEC leadership summit in Thailand, with the goal of using Taiwan’s advanced ICT experience to assist other APEC member states in upgrading their technology capacities.

Lester hopes there will be a second phase of the initiative, with centres built in more Indonesian cities. It is due to be discussed in ADOC Week 2008, set for 29 September–4 October in Taipei.

 

INDIA ACTION PLANS CLIMATE CHANGE August 29, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

 

On a case to case basis, each country has taken certain forms of action regarding climate change. India had recently formulated its action plan for climate change, a plan that served well as input to its cooperative efforts with South Asian countries.

 

The report is shown below.

 

Happy reading!

 

[12 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to SciDev database news.]

 

 

 

India launches climate change action plan

T. V. Padma

4 July 2008 | EN

India’s solar mission aims to make its solar energy industry as competitive as its fossil fuel industry

Flickr/z1zzy

[NEW DELHI] India released its national action plan on climate change this week (30 June) with a focus on harnessing renewable energy rather than stringent emissions targets.

India’s prime minister Manmohan Singh released the plan ahead of his attendance at next week’s (7–9 July) G8 summit in Japan where climate change is expected to be discussed.

The action plan spells out eight priority missions that will promote India’s development objectives, with the “co-benefit” of tackling climate change.

The eight missions are: solar energy, enhanced energy efficiency, sustainable habitats, water conservation, sustaining the Himalayan ecosystem, developing a ‘green’ India, sustainable agriculture and building a strategic knowledge platform on climate change.

“Over a period of time, we must pioneer a graduated shift from economic activity based on fossil fuels to one based on non-fossil fuels, and from reliance on non-renewable and depleting sources of energy to renewable sources of energy,” Singh said.

The missions will be managed by the appropriate ministries, and specific programmes within the missions will be finalised by December.

Of these, solar energy will receive a big thrust. India receives the equivalent of about 5,000 trillion kilowatt hours of energy from the sun each year — 5.5 kilowatt hours per square metre each year — with most areas experiencing clear, sunny weather for 250 to 300 days. 

The solar mission aims to tap this natural resource and make the country’s solar energy industry as competitive as the fossil fuel industry by setting up a new research centre, entering into research collaborations and encouraging technology transfer.

The plan does not spell out greenhouse gas emission targets, but states that per capita emissions in India will not exceed levels in industrialised countries. India is the world’s fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases in absolute terms, but lies behind the US and Europe in terms of annual per capita emissions it (1.2 tonnes compared to 20 and 9.4 tonnes respectively).

The international environmental organisation Greenpeace, said in a statement that the plan is a “welcome first step” but has some weak areas that need to be addressed.

“The plan lacks clear policy prescriptions and targets for improving energy efficiency and reducing transportation emissions,” Srinivas Krishnaswamy, policy advisor for Greenpeace, India, told SciDev.Net.

“They should have placed more emphasis on mandatory emission standards,” he added. 

 

SOUTH ASIA ESCALATES CLIMATE CHANGE INTERVENTION

Erle Frayne Argonza

 

Good morning from Manila!

 

Climate change is among the world’s hottest environmental and developmental issues. Climate change alone has so many facets to it, and some issues are so contentious they border hoax.

 

Below is a news item from South Asia, concerning concerted efforts by stakeholders to address climate change.

 

Happy reading!

 

[13 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to SciDev database news.]

 

South Asian nations join forces to tackle climate change

Source: IRIN

9 July 2008 | EN | 中文

The countries have pledged to improve monitoring and exchange of information on impacts such as rising sea levels

Flickr/Sumaiya Ahmed

South Asian nations have adopted a three-year environmental action plan to reduce the impact of climate change in the region.

Environmental ministers from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka — adopted the declaration in Dhaka, Bangladesh, last week (3 July) following a three-day summit.

The action plan covers 2009–2011, with countries pledging to improve monitoring and exchange of information on disaster preparedness and extreme events, meteorological data, information on climate change impacts such as increased sea levels, glacial melting and biodiversity, and capacity for clean development mechanism projects.

The ministers called for more technology to fight climate change and better technology and knowledge transfer between SAARC member states.

They also called for a South Asia fund on climate change, with further discussions scheduled for the next SAARC summit in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in July.