Laguindingan International Airport

After so many delays, the Laguindingan International Airport finally opened last June 15, 2013. And today I was finally able to see it. It was quite impressive. Definitely better than the old Lumbia Airport (which is a pretty low bar admittedly).

As I previously mentioned, the airport strategically situated between CDO and Iligan. It is just about an hour away from either cities. Soon we can expect a wider highway between the two cities and maybe even a high-speed railway system. This increases the potential for an influx of more tourists, investments, business opportunities, and general benefit to the region’s economy.

For example, the airport is far from densely populated urban areas (as it should be) but I can already see there will be a level of development in the surrounding areas as a direct result of the airport opening. That in itself is already an big economic benefit to the local economy.

Investment Grade!

Fitch Ratings has given the country a much-coveted investment grade rating. From BB+, it is now BBB-. That’s nothing short of awesome! Maybe it’s just what’s needed to get more portfolio investments (caveat emptor) and maybe even direct investments flowing in. Things are really looking up! But need to be extra careful when things are looking up. Quite easy for things to take a tumble :P

Investing In The Philippines

After the riots in China, both the FoxConn factory  and the anti-Japanese riots, US and Japanese companies are finding out about the true costs of being in China. Maybe it’s time they focus more on the Philippines. There may be separatists down south and corruption everywhere but at least workers, and people in general, don’t have the tendency riot the way they do in China. Yes, not even with all that corruption.

For the US, the Philippines has been one of the destinations for business process outsourcing, why not manufacturing, too? For Japan, it has been one of the destinations for outsourcing manufacturing. And has something in common with: disputes with China over sovereign territory :P

Philippine Global Competitiveness

Read John Mangun’s article this morning and learned that the country rose 10 places in the World Economic Forum’s ranking to 75th. This despite the poverty level, corruption (PNoy is all talk and no walk on this), inefficient government bureaucracy, security issues (bus hostage-taking), inadequate infrastructure (where are the PPP projects promised by PNoy?), poor education, poor investor protection (NAIA3, PLDT foreign ownership), and the difficulty of starting a business. Personally, I think all these hostile factors contribute to leaving only the smartest and most resilient thus contributing to robust and sophisticated businesses. Supporting factors are good fiscal and monetary policy (BSP governor Tetangco got an “A” grade recently from a finance magazine), good banking industry, and a good stock market. That’s good news to start the day!

Full report here.