Purisima named best Asia-Pacific finance chief
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima was named Finance Minister of the Year for Asia Pacific by international publication “The Banker” for his contributions last year in elevating the profile of the Philippines in the international community.
The recognition came after the Philippines, for the first time in history, secured investment grades from the three major international credit-rating agencies last year.
The credit watchdogs cited the country’s much improved fiscal situation, among a host of other factors, in their decision to upgrade their rating on the country from junk to investment status.
Fitch Ratings was the first to give the Philippines an investment grade, raising the country’s credit rating by a notch to the minimum investment rating of BBB- in March. Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service followed in May and October, respectively.
Purisima, along with other government economic officials, pressed for an investment grade for the Philippines, saying this was long overdue given the country’s favorable macroeconomic fundamentals.
In a statement issued by the Department of Finance, Purisima attributed the recognition given to him by The Banker to the reforms instituted by the Aquino administration.
After implementing measures that helped improve the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals and introduced anti-corruption initiatives, the administration is now set to get to the next stage of reforms, he said.
“Our goals for 2014 include improving the revenue-to-GDP (ratio) through the ongoing reforms in the Bureau of Customs, stimulating infrastructure development, preparing the Philippines to benefit from the Asean Economic Integration in 2015, and strengthening the Philippines’ resilience against disasters in light of the recent devastation brought by Supertyphoon ‘Yolanda,’” he said.
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