The first half of 2016 has been tough for the global economy as The World Bank downgraded the growth forecast by 0.5%, dropping to the threshold of 2.4%. However, the Philippines would successfully stay out of the storm and maintain its forecast at 6.4% this year.
This stability, I believe, is strongly attributed to the country’s strong domestic consumption and expanding public-private programs. Regular business trips to ASW office in Manila have shown me how significantly local factors contribute to the national economy. The Filipinos love socializing, and their real incomes are on the rise, making the domestic demand consistent enough to partly offset the effects of global economic downturn.
Moreover, the government has endorsed and launched many supportive macroeconomic policies to attract investors, as well as keep national economy on the right track. Just like what I have witnessed in Vietnam, public-private programs are expanding considerably in the Philippines, especially in the infrastructure projects. In essence, this helps bridge the investors and national economy, creating a business environment with an emphasis on transparency, partnership and good governance. Therefore, it comes to me as no surprise when the Philippines and Vietnam top the IMF’s 2016 Regional Economic Outlook: Asia & Pacific.