Firm leader boosts growth

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A strong leadership and the right fundamentals will sustain stellar growth and further propel the economy in the coming years, a rising star in the business sector predicted yesterday.

Diversified businessman Dennis Uy said during the “Straight Talk with Daily Tribune” his expanding concerns in different industries always try to achieve better products or alternatives for Filipinos.

“We’ve been very bullish in our economy and numbers are really showing very good growth and all indicators are conducive to investing. That’s one… we’ve been growing for six percent over the past 10 years and I think the next three to five years, it’s still over six percent, maybe seven percent,” Uy said.

Uy, whose flagship companies Udenna Corp. and Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp. teamed up with China Telecom to form Mislatel that won the bid as the country’s third telco, said among the biggest advantage of the country in the region is its young population.

The Philippines is in a so-called demographic sweet spot in which majority of the population are within the working age in contrast to most Asian countries which is experiencing labor shortage as a result of an aging population.

Huge prospects

“In our demographics, 60 percent of our population is aged 30 below. There’s a lot of so-called millennials who have purchasing power and another source of push is the government’s effort to build more infrastructure,” he said.

Uy added the business sector sees huge promises from the “Build, Build, Build” program wherein the government will invest over P1 trillion a year over the next few years to build a lot of roads, bridges and railways which can decongest Manila, give growth to the provinces and, at the same time, spread the wealth.

“So, our per capita income in the next few years will reach $5,000 and that would be the so-called breakout point wherein more people will have the spending power not only to invest but also to spend for livelihood or luxuries,” he added.

Aggressive inroads

“Our group, we have been in business since early 2000, 2002. We’re really investing in the country in the industry where we are at, namely, petroleum, but the past few years, we’ve been doubly aggressive, as you notice, because we are confident not only in the economic prospect but also the leadership of our country.”

The result of the Social Weather Stations survey showing an upswing in the administration’s public satisfaction rating buttresses Uy’s views.

Conducted 16 to 19 December 2018 with 1,440 adult respondents nationwide, the poll yielded “very good” results or 76 percent of the respondents saying they were satisfied with the President’s governance while only 9 percent said otherwise.

The figures listed a net satisfaction rating of +66, a 16-point increase from the “very good” +50 recorded in September 2018.

“The Palace considers this increase in satisfaction rating as a vote of public confidence and a demonstration of the people’s unshakeable trust in the present administration which the polling firm classified as ‘very good,’” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

Rise of Phoenix

Uy said the best prospect among his long line of business interests will be in petroleum, through Phoenix.

“As the economy improves, more people will buy cars. There’s a lot of traffic, so growth in petroleum demand has been growing the same way as our GDP (gross domestic product) has been growing,” he said.

He added he is investing in other petroleum-related products, such as LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) and in the near future in the production of asphalt which is needed for road building.

“In logistics, in shipping, the passenger growth also increased. Lately, we’ve entered into telco, we’re lucky we won… We are also bullish because there’s a huge demand later on going into more data, Internet and e-commerce,” he said.

“And also hospitality, we’re gaining in tourism. So, there’s no favorite sector really.
Everything, on all sectors, we are bullish that they will really grow,” Uy added.

His Udenna Group recently acquired Philippine H2O Ventures Corp. to support efforts to strengthen the country’s tourism sector.

Good tourism outlook

Philippine H2O Ventures thereafter changed its name to PH Resorts Group Holdings Inc. and its primary purpose is to engage in the hotel and/or gaming and entertainment business.

PH Resorts will house the tourism-related businesses of the Udenna Group. Its portfolio will include two integrated resort and casino projects — one in Mactan, Cebu as well as another one in Udenna’s Clark Global City in Angeles, Pampanga.

“PH Resorts will allow the Udenna Group to take advantage of the many opportunities in the tourism sector, create stronger synergies among our existing businesses and make more meaningful contributions to the Philippine economy,” Uy, who is Udenna founder and chairman, said.

Udenna has diverse business interests in petroleum and oil through Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc.; shipping and logistics through Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp. and 2GO Group Inc.; real estate through Udenna Development; education through Enderun Colleges, and convenience stores through FamilyMart.

With Elmer N. Manuel

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