‘Infrastructure vital to solving key economic issues’


TRADE Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual underscored the role that infrastructure development plays in addressing transport and logistics constraints, energy supply shortages and connectivity issues, which he said “stifle” economic activities.

“The development of robust infrastructure is the key to unlocking business opportunities and stimulating and sustaining economic growth,” Pascual said in his speech at the Urban Land Institute Philippines Conference on Wednesday.

By investing in high-quality infrastructure, the Trade chief said the country will not only enhance its overall business environment “but also pave the way for increased investment.”

According to Pascual, as the Philippines moves toward “robust” economic expansion, it is now transitioning from a consumer-driven to an investment-led economy.

Connectivity, both physical and digital, is “integral” in pursuit of accelerating growth of investments and businesses and enhancing ease of doing business, he stressed. “Our national development plan highlights digital and physical connectivity as cru-cial given our country’s archipelagic configuration,” he added.

Citing current efforts connecting “our ecozones, trade centers, and manufacturing and logistics hubs,” the Trade chief said this “should serve the needs of businesses locating in the Philippines.”

According to him, connecting urban centers and rural areas enable a “more balanced growth” among regions across the country.

“Building infrastructure enables us to address transport and logistics constraints, energy supply shortages and costs, and connectivity issues that stifle economic activities,” Pascual said.

He explained the advantages of having improved physical infrastructure, saying it “expands accessibility, drawing investors to previously underserved regions and driving inclusive growth.”

As the country aims to spread economic growth to these underserved areas, Pascual said infrastructure will “bridge gaps” in time and space, “facilitating the movement of people and goods, improving productivity, and making local production nationally and globally competitive.”

“Furthermore, infrastructure development balances growth opportunities across communities, enabling efficient social service delivery, job creation, and improved welfare,” the Trade chief also noted.

In bridging ecozones, trade centers and manufacturing and logistics hubs, Pascual cited the 147-kilometer North-South Commuter Railway, which “will seamlessly connect technology industrial sites in Calabarzon to Clark Airport, driving economic growth.”

In the country’s pursuit to drive inclusive growth in the countryside, the DTI chief also cited the Digital Cities Program, which he said aims to establish IT and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) locators in 31 cities across the country by 2025. Andrea E. San Juan