Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) president Kelie Ko sees 2023 as a challenging year as companies’ bottom line remain subdued due to higher input costs.
Some industries have also struggled, including the construction sector. “The construction materials supply industry has seen one of their worst years (even slower than 2022) due to tempered demand from building construction,” Mr. Ko said.
On the other hand, the tourism sector has recovered slowly. “On a positive note, tourism numbers have started to return as evidenced by data on airport traffic,” he pointed out.
However, economists see a better year ahead, Ko said, adding that tourism numbers will continue to grow although the slowing down of China’s economy “might prolong the recovery a bit.”
MCCI Board of Trustees 2024 with the Past Presidents
In 2019, more than 1.7 million Chinese tourists came to the Philippines and spent over $2.3 billion.
Ko also noted that building construction will not be in full swing next year. He explained that traditionally, construction is a laggard when it comes to reacting to economic conditions.
Interest rates, Ko said, remain critical to reaching the economy’s turning point. He said that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is expected to keep interest rates at elevated levels, at least up to the early part of 2024 to keep inflation at bay. The high-interest rates would dampen borrowing for expansion and home buying.
Ko also cited geopolitical tensions that may pose a risk since there are high-profile elections internationally that have the potential to change the global political and economic dynamics.
“Nevertheless, many believe that we have reached the bottom in 2022 and 2023, so there is no way but up going forward. What remains to be seen is whether we will go up an escalator or tread up the stairs slowly,” he said.
The newly elected MCCI Board of Trustees
Meanwhile, MCCI recently held its annual membership meeting during which the election for the chamber’s board of trustees was conducted. MCCI’s newly elected members of the Board of Trustees are Kelie Ko, General Manager of KGK Management Corp.; Bambi Gothong, President and Chief Executive Officer of AD Gothong Manufacturing Corp.; Mark Anthony Ynoc, Vice President of Prime Movers Total Logistics Inc.; Walter Ong, Chief Finance Officer Worldwide Steel Group; Samuel Lao, President of Realty Options Marketing & Consultancy Inc.; Marvey Alcantara, Uratex General Manager ; Mary Anne Rose T. Dakay, Chief Operating Officer of Shemberg Marketing Corp.; Anthony Noel, Vice President Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. Corporate External Affairs; and Angelo Jose Gandionco, Project Manager of Julie’s Franchise Corp.
MBM 2023 Chairman Mr. Mark Anthony Ynoc
MCCI had been initiating several activities in 2023. The Mandaue Business Months events include Mandaue Business Summit, Business Connect, Bakery World, Trees Brew Life, Talent Fest, and the Lord of the Pins Bowling Tournament.
MCCI President Mr. Kelie Ko
The chamber ended the year 2023 with the successful Mandaue Chamber Night and Christmas Party 2023. It was a night of fun and music with a song number from MCCI President Ko, and entertainment from The Abyss Dance Company, The Prodigious Dance Company, and the Revel Band.