Philippine industries are urged to boost competitiveness to maximize benefit of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
In a statement of the Philippine Exporters Confederation (Philexport), Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (FOBAP) President Robert Young said the country should be compliant to global standards in order to share in the opportunities of free flow of goods in the region brought by the economic integration.
Young made the statement as the Philippines will host the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in Manila this week.
Young said the country should also look into investing in digital process production that delivers efficiency.
"Garments, footwear and apparel and others are now being manufactured by updated foreign factories by robotics and using digital process, for faster, more accurate turnover and less manpower labor cost," he said.
He added that workplaces should adhere to international labor standards.
"Globally compliant is adapting to the importation rules and regulations of the foreign buyers abroad. Each country has now implemented that all goods entering their country were not made by child labor, not in a sweat shop, drug-free factory, practicing environmental waste management,” Young added.
Aside from modernization of equipment and meeting the global labor standards, the Philippines could further gain competitive advantage with adequate infrastructure, industry-friendly financial program, competitive power and labor costs.
"The Philippines has still pending must-do in the plate," Young said.
He added that taking advantage of the opportunities of the AEC will support to sustain the momentum of the country’s economic growth.