World Bank urges PHL to invest in technologies vs climate change

Philippine government and businesses should invest in technologies aimed at tackling climate change, at the same time, supporting innovation, the World Bank said.

World Bank Group senior economist Dr. Marcin Piatkowski advised the country to develop technologies that can make it less susceptible to the impact of natural disasters.

“Probably, it would be difficult to become a global champion in innovation on climate change today. Americans, Chinese, Europeans and others are spending tens of billions of dollars every year on technologies that would lessen the impact,” he said in a forum on the sidelines of the general membership meeting of the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc.

Piatkowski cited the introduction of a new insurance system that will help especially calamity-hit farmers who lost often their whole harvest and have no savings.

“The government could play a critical role in providing insurance for every single farmer in the country,” he noted.

Piatkowski also underscored the need for the government to support businesses to innovate and grow.

“There is evidence that spending on supporting the private sector R&D [research and development] and innovation makes sense because this is the way that we can become more innovative and more productive and produce more GDP later on,” he said.

Innovation involves the implementation of a new or significantly improved product, or process, a new marketing method, or a new organizational method in business practice, he said.

“The country that continues to grow at 6 percent needs SMEs [small and medium enterprises] to become more efficient, to become more productive [and] to be more export-oriented…. They [government] need to share your risk, they need to help you experiment, they need [to help] you to become successful,” he added.

For Philippine companies, the World Bank official encouraged them to invest on innovation that would make
them competitive.

“There is a lot of space for the Filipino firms of all types to come in and have their own ideas. In their niches, it could be something small. But if you have 1,000 or 500 small companies with small ideas but with big global markets, you would see that impact,” he said.

Piatkowski cited global companies, such as Apple, Google and IBM, that are already big but are continuously spending on innovation.



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