PH performance ranked ‘poor’ in Asean region
MANILA, Philippines–Despite the healthy growth seen over the past several years, the Philippines’ overall economic performance in the last three decades has remained “poor” compared to other member states of the Asean as it continued to lag behind its neighbors in terms of growth rates, trade relations and investments.
Park Bun Soon, a professor at the Hongik University in South Korea, said in his presentation at the Asean-Korea Partnership Forum Program on Wednesday that the Philippines’ trade with other Asean countries accounted for only 19.1 percent of its total trade. Exports to Asean accounted for only 16 percent while import from the region stood at 21.8 percent.
“The Philippines recorded a trade deficit (with) most of the Asean countries. The Philippines’ role in internal Asean production sharing is very much limited. Due to the underdevelopment of basic industries materials and industrial machinery, the Philippines imports commodities, base materials and automobile parts and components from other Asean countries,” Park explained in his paper.
The Philippines, Park added, was one of the lowest recipient countries of foreign direct investments among Asean members. Such investments were considered almost negligible compared to what the Philippines’ neighbors were receiving. Last year, FDI inflow in the country was the lowest in the region at $3.86 billion.
The Philippines’ standing was due to the poor endowment of natural resources; natural disasters; the nation’s political, economic and social structures; and crony capitalism that resulted in the distortion of resource allocation.
The country, Park added, also fell short of dynamism, had failed in developing its manufacturing industry and had a lack of adequate employment opportunities.
“With the progress of AEC (Asean Economic Community), it is urgent for the Philippines to take proper measures to attract more FDI from Asean and all over the world,” Park stressed.
To take advantage of the benefits of the AEC, Park urged Asean member-states to make an effort to cooperate with major trading partners under a multilateral system of international production network. In the case of the Philippines, for instance, the country could benefit significantly from increased cooperation with South Korea.
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