Dominguez: Strong PH economy to counter global slack
The Philippine economy is “ready to soar” after a strong performance in the third quarter and will likely grow by 6 percent or above for the rest of the Duterte presidency despite the international trade friction and other global challenges, according to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.
The massive rollout of the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program plus the bold policy and administrative reforms being undertaken by President Duterte supported this rosy outlook for “one of Asia’s powerhouse economies,” which posted a 6.2-percent growth in the third quarter and expanded by an average of 6.4 percent in the first 13 quarters of the Duterte administration, the head of the administration’s economic team said.
“You will find this country an oasis of optimism in a world burdened with trade wars and uncertainties,” Dominguez said in his keynote speech before the Chief Executives Organization (CEO) at the Makati Shangri-La hotel in Makati City.
“While most of the mature economies are expected to grow slower this year, the Philippines stands staunchly as a growth leader in this dynamic region of the world,” he added. “Against the headwinds of a broad slowdown in the global economy, we expect our economy to grow at around 6 to 7 percent this year. The country is strong and ready to soar.”
“Into the foreseeable future, we are confident of sustaining a 6 percent or better growth rate despite the headwinds buffeting the global economy,” he added.
The Finance chief said Filipinos were beginning to reap the rewards of a resilient, well-managed economy on the watch of Mr. Duterte, as shown by the drop in the unemployment rate to its lowest level in 40 years, and the decline in poverty incidence from 27.6 percent in the first half of 2015 to 21 percent in the same period in 2018.
“The economic team and the ‘Build, Build, Build’ team stand by our commitment and ultimate goal to bring down poverty incidence to just 14 percent by 2022, helping one million Filipinos lift themselves from poverty every year,” he added.
Dominguez said the Philippines was expected to graduate to upper-middle income country ranking by next year, way ahead of schedule, as it prepared for the opportunities that lay ahead by investing heavily in its very young, talented workforce.
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