The Philippines will remain one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia-Pacific under the Duterte administration, economic officials told local and foreign fund managers Wednesday.
Economic managers, in a conference call held at Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in Manila, assured investors the Philippines was poised to realize bright prospects for business over the medium to long term.
“The unique growth story of the Philippine economy—one that is founded not only on strength but also on long-term stability and resilience—offers opportunities for business activity to thrive not only now, but well into the future,” Bangko Sentral Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said.
The Duterte administration targets economic growth to reach 6 to 7 percent this year, 6.5 to 7.5 percent in 2017 and 7 to 8 percent in 2018 to 2022.
Economic managers said if the growth targets were realized, the Philippines would continue to outpace growth of most Asian countries.
The Philippine economy grew 7 percent in the second quarter of 2016, the second fastest in Asia, following India’s 7.1 percent and ahead of China’s 6.7 percent.
This brought the first-half average to 6.9 percent, near the upper bound of the target range of 6 percent to 7 percent.
The Investor Relations Office of Bangko Sentral, which organized the event, said around 100 fund managers and other stakeholders from the Philippines, neighboring Asian countries and Europe participated in the conference call.
Officials from the National Economic and Development Authority highlighted the strategies under the Duterte administration to raise living standards.
National Economic and Development Authority deputy director-general Rosemarie Edillon said these included support for further development of the manufacturing sector and for reversal of the contraction of the agriculture sector and higher public spending on infrastructure and social services.
Improved standard of living for a greater portion of the population, in turn, bodes well for higher income of businesses, economic officials said.
“We have had 17 years of uninterrupted economic expansion. Our challenge lies in the distribution of gains from the economic growth. The [Duterte administration’s] socioeconomic development agenda will address this challenge,” said Reynaldo Cancio, Neda director for national policy and planning.