SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin Romualdez on Wednesday expressed confidence the Philippine economy would remain vibrant despite the expected global slowdown.
Romualdez, in his message during the Forum on Legislative Reforms in the Philippine Capital Market at the Philippine Stock Exchange in Taguig City, underscored the initiatives under the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to boost “our country’s advantage as a lucrative hub for foreign investments.”
“While factors, such as the global economic slowdown and external environments, have posed challenges, the resilience and adaptability of our economy persist. For context, our growth this year is anticipated to surpass that of nations like Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia,” he said.
He said while the World Bank trimmed the GDP growth forecast to 5.6 percent this year on persistent inflation and global headwinds, the figure remains commendable. “The World Bank has recently projected the Philippines to be the fastest-growing economy in Southeast Asia this year,” he said.
Romualdez said the World Bank forecasts an average GDP growth of 5.7 percent in the coming years, buttressed by domestic demand and declining inflation. “This speaks volumes about the latent potential within our economy and capital markets as we endeavor to achieve our ambitious target growth rate of 6 percent to 7 percent,” he said.
Legislative milestones, such as the amended Public Service Act, which fosters full foreign ownership in crucial public services like telecommunications and airlines, “underscore our country’s commitment to creating conducive environment for investment,” he said.
“Implementing comprehensive financial and taxation reform is crucial. It will attract investments, spur employment, and ensure consistent government revenue streams. Our vision is to cultivate an economy that is inclusive, innovative, and highly competitive,” he said.
Romualdez invited members of the capital market community to consider the promising prospects of the Maharlika Investment Fund. “I encourage our revered guests and esteemed partners to explore this investment opportunity, a venture that signifies shared growth and mutual advancement, propelling our nation towards an era of unparalleled economic renaissance,” he said.
An international organization also expects the Philippines to post the highest growth among the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations this year and next.
The ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) revised its 2023 growth forecast for the Philippines to 5.9 percent from its July estimate of 6.2 percent, but the country would still be fastest-growing economy in the region based on the October quarterly update of the 2023 ASEAN+3 Regional Economic Outlook (AREO).
The 2023 growth estimate for the Philippines is faster than 5.3 percent forecast for Cambodia, 5.0 percent for Indonesia, 4.8 percent for Lao PDR, 4.7 percent for Vietnam, 4.2 percent for Malaysia, 3.5 percent for Thailand, 2.2 percent for Myanmar, 1.1 percent for Brunei and 1.0 percent for Singapore.
AMRO retained its Philippine growth outlook of 6.5 percent for 2024, which is also the highest estimate for any ASEAN country.