In a webinar hosted by the Australia Philippines Business Council on 20 August 2020, economist and author Dr. Bernardo Villegas discussed the strong fundamentals of the Philippine economy and the long-term opportunities that businesses should seize in the Philippines to stage an economic recovery.
Dr. Villegas said, “Over the last ten years, the Philippines has been receiving very complimentary assessments from a number of independent institutions.” He cited the IMF World Economic Outlook Database April 2019 that identified the Philippines as one of “The Next 11: Emerging Engines of Growth” and Oxford Economics 2019 that included the Philippines as one of “Ten Leading Emerging Markets that will dominate the Global Economy in the next Decade”.
In May 2020, The Economist rated the Philippines 6th among 66 emerging economies on the basis of financial strength and in June 2020, Japan Credit Rating Agency upgraded the Philippines from BBB+ to A- with stable outlook.
Villegas urged businesses to consider growth centers outside Manila such as Pampanga, Batangas, Iloilo, Cebu and Davao City. He added that lasting trends in the Philippine economy such as its strong financial system, a young and English-speaking workforce, infrastructure development and the geostrategic location of the Philippines point to a strong recovery for the Philippines.
Business consultant Mr. Peter Wallace referred to CEO Magazine’s ranking of the Philippines as the 7th best country to invest in or do business with in 2020, in a report published on 29 April. He also said that as the world is moving astronomically in terms of IT, business should look at the Philippines given the great ability of Filipinos in this field. Wallace also commended the government because the “infrastructure needs are being addressed” and for working on tax reforms, in particular reducing corporate income tax.
Philippine Ambassador to Australia Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega promoted investment opportunities in IT-BPM services; manufacturing of automotive parts, electronics and shipbuilding; agribusiness; traditional and renewable energy; infrastructure and medical products and supplies. The Ambassador said, “This administration is committed to build a healthier and more resilient Philippines in the years to come. Now is the time to partner with the Philippines.” The Ambassador also invited business to the Philippines’ innovation and industrial corridor New Clark City.
The event was organized in cooperation with the Philippine Trade and Investment Centre-Sydney.