This may not happen in most of our lifetime but it is happily noted with undisguised glee.

Recent business forecasts said by 2050-about 40 years from now- the Philippines will be the 16th biggest economy in the world! This is also a fulfillment of the vision of the famous “Clash of Civilizations” book written in 1996 indicating that there will be  a major shift of economic power from the West to Asia ,led by the giant China.

Hard to imagine but by that time- our Philippine embassies will be busy turning away visa applicants from Americans and Europeans wanting to enter the Philippines.. If one believes in the endless cycle of life- that is not an impossibility.

But that is too way too far to the future. What  then are the industries to watch in the next few years in the country?

One interesting trend discovered by business gurus is the concept of  “Small is Big”

The theory  that it is not always true now that to become “big-time” a business must increase its products, branches and plant capacity.One just has to possess a good product accepted by a large consumer base and then attract the  business “giants” to buy his company. Let us review.

After just 6 years Edgar Sia II sold his “Mang Inasal ” 70% share to giant Jollibee of Tony Caytiong for a whopping P 3-Billion on 2009. In 2010, Pancake  also bought the profitable “Yellow Cab” pizza chain for P 800-Million and beauty product producer Splash Corporation  annexed the popular food chain “Barrio Fiesta”  for P472-Million representing a huge 80% of the corporation.

Last year, the giant PLDT-Smart telecom group (Pangilinan Group) brought the controlling interest of Sun Cellular (Gokongwei) amid a controversy calling the result an “oligopoly” (few sellers) which can lead to cartelized pricing.

But it is a trend that gives hope to small entrepreneurs-producing the elusive “retirement deal” is to sell the company to a big business operator- and spend the rest of one’s life vacationing in Europe and the Bahamas and drinking wine and cheese at home while listening  good music from Bach and Bacharach. What a life indeed for creative entrepreneurs.

On the other hand OFWs and individuals with rich cash balance can look at the various franchises available in the country which has shown rapid growth rate per year of from 20-30% How about that?

The PPP will definitely go full blast this year , so there are opportunities for private sector biggies like SMC , First Pacific and the Ayala Groups to participate in the back to basic projects like railroads, MRT, energy, schools and even hospitals. That also means more potential business for private sub-contractors.

In fact, the First Pacific had already bought into the plush hospitals like the St Lukes Hospital and the Makati Medical Center. Schools like National University, the Mapua Institute of Technology and even the University of the East have already been bought by tycoons. The Laurels had long owned the Lyceum University.

For Bohol, Tourism and the BPO (call centers) will be the major drivers of the economy in the next few years.

“More fun in the Philippines” targeting  4.2 million tourists in 2012 means targeting the new wave of attractive investments in tourist transport service (land , air, sea), sports and adventure sites,  and medical and beauty tourism.

The DOT is now trying to match the tourism sites capacity versus per nationality usage and try to adopt marketing programs to mix-match the gaps in the supply -demand designed to specific nationality-tourists.

The huge supply of well educated Bohol college graduates and the new savvy of Bohol in the cyber-world will transform the province into a BOP hub, we have no doubt about that. Businessmen should start looking at constructing huge buildings to house BPO business centers soon.

On the other hand, because of the tremendous backlog in housing units, real estate will be a “sunrise” industry still especially for condominiums in highly urbanized areas and mass housing for town and city outskirts. In Bohol, there is an obvious lack of mid- to high end residential subdivisions given the increased earning capacity of OFW-supported families here.

In other sectors, the strength of the colossal China to produce cheap goods make manufacturing a difficult competitive area for most Filipino entrepreneurs . But once a manufactured product based on ethnic, indigenous materials and styling is developed, there lies the hope for future Filipino entrepreneurs to go into competitive manufacturing.

Finally, there are new industries that could emerge out of environmental crisis, according to the entrepreneurial gurus.

If one recalls  typhoons “Ondoy”  caused P21-Billion in damages, “Pedring” P 10-Billion and “Sendong” we are still counting. Thus ,many farmers and businesses are now shifting interest to crops and locations that will be relatively insulated from the ravages of typhoons and floods. What are those opportunities resulting from weather-driven crisis?

Also, the “Green Revolution” that is weeping the world globally would make organic-based products (food and cosmetics) and even construction (green-friendly) materials to watch in terms of business opportunities.

In sum, there are industries that will fade as “sunset” industries and others will rise or maintain their bullish nature as “sunrise” industries as the fundamentals of the economy undergo some changes.

Are we ready to pounce on these new realities to better our lives?

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