While jeepney drivers and commuters have been complaining about the rerouting for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) as a hassle and a source of current financial troubles for the former, Sun.Star reported that Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Charles Jose shared last Thursday at a press conference that the event has boosted the province’s overall economy.
With the 80 meetings having drawn in 3,000 delegates, the APEC has improved the income of local farmers because of the increase in demand from the hotels for their products. “Cebu's hosting of the Apec meetings comes at an opportune time, as the island province is solidifying its reputation as a prime regional center for trade, development and innovation. As a result of the interest generated by Apec, more investments are also expected to come in, besides similar anticipated increases in tourist arrivals,” Jose told the press.
Tourism has also enjoyed a huge boost with the different tours planned for the APEC delegates which take place around the province and Bohol. “It will be a big boost to tourism. Just imagine if every one of them post a picture on Facebook as they go around. Just imagine the multiplier effect of that. All the families and friends will see the picture and will be encouraged to visit the places,” Jose described.
The APEC is also said to have created more jobs as well as improve the state of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and the manufacturing sector, particularly for gift items, food and fashion accessories. Investments are also expected to spread out to other parts of Cebu so growth isn’t expected to be concentrated around Metro Cebu. Preparations for the event have also included increased government spending focusing on Cebu’s infrastructure and investments from members of the private sector as well.
Cebu’s governor Hilario Davide III says there is already a need for more economic zones, similar to Mactan Economic Processing Zone (MEPZ) in Mactan Island and the IT Park in Lahug, to cater to the expected increase in investments.
Photo credits: Sun.Star