February 14, 2018

Uptrends and better working relations: BDO Economic Briefing 2018

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  • If financial forecasts can be seen as extremely accurate, the country will continue to improve in 2018 thanks to BDO’s positive forecasts during the recently concluded Japan Desk Economic Briefing at The Palms Country Club in Alabang.

    BDO’s FVP and Chief Market Strategist  Jonathan Ravelas says 2018 looks to be a good year for the country.

    Jonathan Ravelas, BDO’s First Vice President and Chief Market Strategist, said BDO sees the country’s economy still on the rise, aided by data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

    Key forecasts of BDO for 2018

    According to Ravelas, BDO expects the following for 2018: a sustainable 6.8% growth in GDP, rising prices both here and abroad to support trade, rising inflation and interest rates, and new highs in the stock market (which could hit as high as 9,100).

    SPIIN. If there’s one thing you can take away from all the news and BDO’s forecasts, it’s that the wheel just keeps on spinning, and the country just happens to be on the upswing.

    He also mentioned BDO’s forecasts as far as the Peso-Dollar exchange rate, which he says will peak at Php 52 – Php 52.50 to the dollar by year’s end. These, however, will not have as big of an effect on the country as the recently-implemented TRAIN law (which should augment any rise in inflation and interest rates) and the government’s Build Build Build program.

    Understand differences in cultures for better results

    THE CROWD DURING THE ECONOMIC BRIEFING. Clients of BDO Japan Desk from Alabang, Paranaque, Laguna, Batangas, and Cavite gathered at The Palms Country Club for one of BDO’s Economic Briefings for 2018. Apart from talking about economic forecasts, audiences were also treated to reaching a better understanding of cultural differences and how to address them for improved performance at work.

    A pain point amongst the companies present at the economic briefing was the seemingly poor performance of Filipino workers as seen by expats. Things like lack of punctuality, hesitance, and the apparent lack of interest in work were seen as “wrong”… but that changed after the briefing.

    Marie Segura of CMC Business Solutions, Inc. talked about three of Dr. Geert Hofstede’s six intercultural dimensions: Time, Certainty, and Achievement.

    Marie Segura of CMC Business Solutions called it intercultural dimensions, a set of six data points that illustrate the many cultural differences which have an effect on how multinational mesh together. These were Individualism, Power Distance, Time, Certainty, Achievement, and a newly-added metric, Indulgence.

    During the briefing, Segura spoke about time, certainty, and achievement. She compared how the Japanese (as most of the guests were Japanese companies) saw these three dimensions with how Filipinos saw the same three.

    According to their studies, the Philippines and Japan are about as close to polar opposites as it can get. Filipinos tend to focus more on what is happening at present, are optimistic and flexible, and value quality of life over success at work. The Japanese, on the other hand, are driven by long-term success, value structure, and tend to put work above everything else.

    Segura acknowledged the fact that while these are virtually ingrained in every person in the room, there is a way of getting around it. She refers to that practice as The Three R’s: Recognize, Respect, and Reconcile.

    RECOGNIZE, RESPECT, RECONCILE. According to Segura, these three words are the key to harmonious working relationships in multinational companies.

    “We need to recognize [that] there are differences, respect [those] differences because there is no way to change the culture entirely, and be consciously aware of how to better work together to get the results you need,” Segura said.

    She outlined a process companies can go through to address these cultural differences and improve your company’s performance.

    “It starts with a cultural awareness program. This will let your strategic people gain a better understanding of these differences. You can even continue with internal mentorship to continue the learning scheme,” she added.

    Segura ended her presentation by pointing out that culture “is dynamic. To be able to make it work in the direction you want it to, [it’s best] to start with awareness so we can better understand each other and find a path towards the direction you want to take.”

    Written by Andronico Del Rosario

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