"There is a projection that the Philippines will be among the 20 richest nations in 2050."
Pricewaterhousecoopers, a prestigious multinational professional services network based in London, United Kingdom, and which ranks as the second-largest professional services firm in the world, has very good news for the Philippines—if the country and its people are willing to listen and abide by its prognosis.
In the multinational’s recent projections for the year 2050, it classed the Philippines among the 20 richest nations on earth just 31 years from now, or a generation hence. By then our country is projected to be ahead of 25. Thailand, with a $2.782 trillion economy; 24. Malaysia—$2.815 trillion; 22. Canada—$3.1-trillion; 21. Italy—$3.115 trillion ; 20. Vietnam—$3.176 trillion. The Philippines will be the 19th richest economy just ahead of Vietnam at 20th. By then the US won’t even be number 2 but India, just behind China as the richest economy in the world.
It is opportune at this time to reflect upon these projections as the country faces its challenges as seen today, the contentious politics that is delaying the national budget and, hence, all the development projects and slowing down growth. There are also ambiguities on the China Sea dispute policies which otherwise pose no problem with unprecedented friendly relations with China, or the vestiges of the Cold War like the Mutual Defense Treaty that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has pointed out.
If the Philippines is to attain the status of being among the richest countries in the World, which would be a boon to its long impoverished people, it must focus on stabilizing its economy directed unerringly toward development and prosperity.
The partnership with the booming economies of Asia today, namely China, and the up-and-coming India, should be top most in the agenda of the Philippines, while good relations with the US. is maintained. President Duterte’s scheduled visit to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI, an essential program for global prosperity) Forum in April, in China is also a welcome development.
To ensure that the road toward 2050 is clear, enhancement of ASEAN’s Zone of Peace and Neutrality (ZOPFAN) and the SEANFZA (Southeast Asian Nuclear Free Zone Agreement, also known as the Bangkok Treaty) must be done particularly as the US withdraws from the INF (Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty) that may restart a new arms race.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s vigorous implementation of the Philippine Constitution’s independent foreign policy has come at the most opportune time. The weight of global power is shifting to Asia and the Philippines is rising as one of the major players in ensuring global peace and prosperity and a gatekeeper of peace and security in what is turning out to be the most critical region of the 21st century.