Next President must speed up reforms | Inquirer Business

Next President must speed up reforms

World Bank says PH growth to continue
By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 12:52 AM April 12, 2016
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THE NEXT administration should institutionalize reforms at a faster pace to build on the gains made by President Aquino thus far, achievements that have made the country’s economic growth prospects in the next three years among the best in the region, according to the World Bank.

But in light of the recent money-laundering scandal that saw the entry of $81 million in stolen money from Bangladesh’s central bank into the domestic financial system, World Bank economists said it was also high time to tighten the country’s antimoney laundering rules and ease the bank secrecy law, although they declined to comment on any potential impact on the economy in general and on remittance flows in particular.

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The World Bank’s April 2016 East Asia and Pacific Economic Update showed that the Philippines would remain one of the fastest-growing countries in East Asia and the Pacific despite a “modest” easing in economic expansion in the region during the 2016-2018 period.

The Washington-based lender said it expected the Philippine economy to expand by 6.4 percent this year and 6.2 percent in 2017 and 2018.

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World Bank senior country economist Karl Kendrick Chua said the higher projection for 2016 from the actual 5.8-percent actual growth posted last year would be boosted by private consumption amid low consumption as well as election-related spending.

Key risks this year, however, remain slower global growth, financial market volatilities, the dry spell brought about by El Niño, delays in PPP implementation, as well as uncertainty due to the upcoming national polls.

Across developing East Asia, growth was projected to ease to 6.3 percent this year from 6.5 percent last year. “The forecast reflects China’s gradual shift to slower, more sustainable growth, expected to be 6.7 percent in 2016 and 6.5 percent in 2017, compared with 6.9 percent in 2015,” the World Bank explained.

In the case of the Philippines, World Bank lead economist Rogier van den Brink noted that while “at this moment, things are looking good” for the economy, there remained reform initiatives that should more speedily move forward in order to achieve inclusive growth.

“In the recent years, the Philippines has continued to deepen macroeconomic stability, promoted transparency and put a lot of resources in infrastructure and services that helped poor and vulnerable families. The country can make further strides in poverty reduction if it can enhance competition in sectors that can create more and better jobs like rice, shipping and telecommunications.”

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TAGS: bangladesh, Bangladesh Bank, Business, economy, Elections, president, Reform, World Bank
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