The tourism, construction and BPM sectors will continue to drive economic growth in Central Visayas this year, according to Kenneth Cobonpue, chairman of the Regional Development Council. Cobonpue said Region 7 remains one of the country’s fastest growing regional economies, with the region posting a 7.6% gross regional domestic product growth rate last year, the fourth highest in the country. The region’s growth, mainly fueled by its economic hub Cebu, has averaged 6.8% in the last five years. Its 7.6% economic expansion in 2018 was higher than the 6.2% national growth and higher than the 7.4% high-end growth target in the Regional Development Plan 2017 to 2022.
Cobonpue said the tourism, construction, manufacturing and IT-BPM sectors remain the region’s major growth drivers, with activities generated by these sectors providing more economic opportunities for the local population. Last year’s visitor arrivals in the region grew by 16.1% to 8.1 million local and foreign tourists, while the BPM sector’s sustained demand for workers and office spaces has resulted in over PHP80 billion in annual revenue and employment for hundreds of thousands of workers. He also added that some big infrastructure projects will be starting in the near future.