Press Release
September 4, 2007

Entrepreneurial revolution needed to succeed in global arena, says Villar

Saying that the growing economy should be accompanied by drastic moves to propel the country forward, Senate President Manny Villar advocated for an entrepreneurial revolution that will give the country a winning chance in the world's economic arena.

"No less that a nation of entrepreneurs will have a winning chance in the economic arena of the world. We need an entrepreneurial revolution," Villar said.

Speaking before the members and officers of Philippines, Inc. (Philippine Trade Foundation, Inc.) an organization of business leaders in the country, Villar urged the business community to spearhead an entrepreneurial revolution "that makes a winner of everybody."

Villar added that while government can provide the policy environment and the support services that are conducive for the start of this revolution, as a bureaucracy, it lacks the heart to ignite it.

"To have a fighting chance in the global market, a paradigm shift is needed. We must adjust to the demands and standards of the new trading order. What worked well in the past may not be effective now. Our own yardstick of what is marketable may not be at par with the measure of excellence of countries riding on the crest of the globalization wave," the president of the Nacionalista Party said.

Villar also lamented that all the budgetary outlays for the enhancement of competitiveness and the modernization of agriculture overlooked a national psychological underpinning, which is the need to develop and promote a culture of competitiveness.

"The momentum created by a few towards global competitiveness is not sufficient to enable us to attain competitive status in a vast playing field," he said.

Villar, who started his gravel and sand business with only a capital of P10,000, added that the number of entrepreneurs across a broad spectrum of enterprises has not reached "that magnitude that will trigger a chain reaction of daring innovation."

"In line with undertaking a value reorientation program towards competitiveness, we must likewise fast track the implementation of a nationwide entrepreneurial development program so that eventually we will have a critical mass of entrepreneurs," he said.

Villar also urged the business sector to make an assessment of the strengths, weaknesses and capabilities of the Philippine market, where a roadmap of what can be effectively done will be drawn.

"We are a very young nation. Our demographic profile shows the predominance of youth. This definitely is a plus factor. A young population suggests dynamism," he stressed.

Villar also said that the fact that Filipinos are a blend of the East and the West with the Spanish heritage and American tutelage, "equips us with the right perspective for living in and dealing with an interconnected world."

He also pushed for the improvement of the level of our proficiency in English, which is the envy of much stronger economies in the world.

"Our democracy is vibrant. Our political institutions, such as the Senate, are stable. World class business entrepreneurs are not alien to us. Long before the process of globalization began, icons of Philippines business and industry had already established a respectable presence overseas," Villar said.

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