PH said to earn spot on investors’ map


A photo of Manila South Harbor. The minimal exposure of the Philippines to external economic threats, the government said, is one of the factors that allow it to have an edge over its counterparts.

MANILA, Philippines—The country may have already earned for itself a unique spot on investors’ map as the Aquino administration highlights claims that the Philippines is much less vulnerable than other emerging economies to external shocks, such as the eurozone crisis.

The minimal exposure of the Philippines to external economic threats, the government said, is one of the factors that allow it to have an edge over its counterparts.

In a report posted online by the Investor Relations Office (IRO), the government said the Philippines fared better than many of its competitor countries in terms of ability to withstand shocks.

Citing data from the International Monetary Fund and the central bank, the IRO said that “trade openness” of the Philippines stands at about 38 percent, which is much less than that of many other developing and emerging economies.

Trade openness is the value of a country’s current account transactions, composed mostly of imports and exports, with the rest of the world as a percentage of its gross domestic product.

Trade openness levels of Taiwan, Thailand, and Malaysia, for instance, stand at much higher levels of 78, 81, and 92 percent, respectively, the IRO said.

Economists said a high level of trade openness could be good when the global economy appeared healthy, since it could help generate more export revenue for a country. But in tough times, or when the global economy is slowing down, a high level of trade openness could significantly dampen a country’s growth potential.

The Philippines has a much smaller level of trade openness than its counterparts because its economy is being driven largely by domestic demand, led by household spending, rather than exports.

With the crisis in the West far from being resolved, the IRO said, it now pays to do business in the Philippines.

In the first three quarters of the year, the Philippine economy grew by 6.5 percent, beating most projections and defying global growth trend.

Growth for the third quarter alone stood at 7.1 percent, the fastest in Southeast Asia during the period.

The IRO also said that the Philippines is becoming less dependent on the eurozone as far as trade is concerned because of efforts to seek alternative markets abroad.

Exports to the eurozone fell from 14.4 percent of the total in 2010 to 12.3 percent last year, the IRO said. Imports from Europe also dropped from 16.8 percent to 7.4 percent over the same period.

Given the capability of the Philippines to sustain robust growth even amid a global economic crunch, the government said, the country should eventually become a preferred site for foreign direct investments.

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  • Peace man!

    I hope that we the growth that we experienced will be sustained and hopefully this would lead to more jobs to the majority of workers (unskilled workers).

    The country will need to attract more investors in the manufacturing sectors to create more jobs for low skilled workers. With a good investment outlook of foreign business sectors, I hope there will be lots of manufacturing jobs to come out.

    High skilled job in the country is no problem. I was one of the fortunate that was able to find a good paying job!

  • Your_King

    Aquino’s Administration boasts about being part of this so-called investors map but where are the investors? The economic growth that the Philippines has seen was apparently due to the high volume of remittance achieved by OFW’s. These OFW’s obviously left the Philippines to find work abroad because there were no new jobs under Aquino Admin.

    • Peace man!

      Your highness, Rome was not built in just 2 years! Even after 6 years you won’t be able to see drastic changes on the quality of life for Filipinos. There will be changes but for sure that’s gonna be gradual.

      The growth that we experienced today will only make a difference if our country can sustain if for a long long long time! 

      People will still go work abroad. People will still have no jobs. People will still be poor. But all of these won’t be resolved if your country, The Philippines is not experiencing growth. We’re on the right track. That’s HOPE. 

      Just hang in there. If you’re not a highly skilled worker then your option is to just go abroad for now and work as a laborer. If you have gain a good skill that can make you a competitive employee, then you can just try and look for a job here.

      • Your_King

        We’re not Rome. And if we’re supposed to wait a long time for change then that’s just another excuse that Aquino would like for us to believe. I’m not the one who ran for President and made promises…that was Aquino who did that. So now that there are still major problems in the Philippines that are not being resolved, just like the issue with Human Rights, then that’s Aquino’s ineffectiveness. I’d like to believe he’ll turn things around and for the sake of the Philippines let’s hope he does…however, thus far, the Philippines is progressing slow. Any progression is minimal and not being felt by the poverty stricken masses.

  • Marlou Wang

    So, therefore, it is not only 38% but more than that.

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