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News: Make world-class products, firms told - 24 Nov 2007
SUBIC — John Gokongwei Jr., chair emeritus of JG Summit Holdings Inc, has challenged Filipino companies to create world-class products, as he cited the significant role of entrepreneurs in country’s development and stability. 

Gokongwei called on Filipino businessmen to "excel" in the international business arena and to create more jobs for Filipinos as their contribution to country’s economic takeoff.

"I have always wondered, like many of us, why we Filipinos have not lived up to our potential...But to be truly great nation, we must also excel as entrepreneurs before the world. We must create Filipino brands for the global market place," the Chinese-Filipino business tycoon said addressing the 3, 200 delegates, including advertising, marketing and media practitioners of the 20th Philippine Advertising Congress.

He keynoted the official opening ceremony of the congress the other night (Nov. 21) with a theme "The New Order." The gathering is aimed at readying the advertising and marketing professionals to "adapt and survive" in the ever-changing trends and practices in their industry.
"If we want to be philosophical, we can say that, with a world-class brand, we create pride for our nation. If we want to be practical, we can say that, with brands that succeed in the world, we create more jobs for our people, right here," he said as he lamented that Filipino companies do not have a truly global brand.

"Our country is well known for its labor, as we continue to export people around the world...But by and large, the Philippines has no big industrial base and Filipinos do not create world-class products," the 81-year old Gokongwei said. "We should not be afraid to try-even if we are laughed at," the business tycoon stressed.

He said the Filipino companies should not only invade the local market of 86 million people, but also target the four-billion Asian market.

"Why serve 86 million when you can sell to four billion Asians? And that’s just to start you off. Because there is still the world beyond Asia. When you go back to your offices, think of ways to sell and market your products and services to the world. Create world-class brands," Gokongwei said, noting that most of their food and beverage products, including Jack and Jill potato chips and C2 have reached foreign markets.

During his speech, he announced that JG Summit Holdings Inc. is set to launch C2 in other Southeast Asian markets.

He said C2 is selling over three million a month in Vietnam, six months after it was launched in the Asian country.
C2 was launched in 2004 and in the first month, a total of 100,000 bottles were sold.

Last year, around 30 million bottles per month were disposed to Filipino drinkers.

Yesterday, prominent book author and celebrity speaker gave the first workshop on "Imagination and Creativity in the Contemporary World."

Other Ad Congress’ speakers include Duncan Morris of Cartoon Network, James Chadwick of Insights and Strategy, Mind Share-Asia Pacific, Chris Nelson of Philip Morris, Michelle Green of Leo Burnett, Ben Colayco of Level Up International and Tay Guan Hin of JWTSingapore.

"The entire Philippine advertising arena may finally be more empowered to leap over hurdles and continue breaking barriers as it strives to make a mark in the international sphere," the organizers of the congress said. 

Source: Manila Bulletin Online, Charissa M. Luci, 23 Nov 2007 

Posted By: PhilCTTIS Data Center 
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