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Philippines sets back target to reach high-income country status

The Philippine Star
Philippines sets back target to reach high-income country status
Speaking at the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines’ luncheon meeting Thursday, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said this goal can be realized if the economy can regain its growth trajectory in the past decade, as well as achieve the trajectory targeted for the medium term by the current administration.
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MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines now expects to become a high-income economy within the first half of the 2040s, according to the National Economic and Development Authority.

Speaking at the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines’ luncheon meeting Thursday, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said this goal can be realized if the economy can regain its growth trajectory in the past decade, as well as achieve the trajectory targeted for the medium term by the current administration.

Under the AmBisyon Natin 2040, the vision for the country is to achieve high income status where no one is poor by 2040.

Balisacan said the country expects a delay in achieving the goal due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the country hit hard by the pandemic, the economy contracted by 9.6 percent in 2020.

“That really dragged down average for the Duterte administration,” Balisacan said.

Last year, full year gross domestic product (GDP) growth was at 5.7 percent.

“The aspirations (of AmBisyon 2040)remain the same,” Balisacan said, noting that the timeline just needs to be revisited.

He said that at the country’s current pace of growth, the average per capita income would likely reach the upper middle income status or threshold defined by the World Bank by 2024.

For this year, the government  aims to achieve 6.5 to 7.5 percent GDP growth.

As of the first semester, the country’s GDP growth stood at 7.8 percent.

Balisacan earlier said  the government  could still achieve its  full year GDP targets despite the challenges.

To achieve the lower end of the growth target of 6.5 percent, he said the economy would just need to post 5.3 percent growth in the second semester.

To hit the upper end of the goal at 7.5 percent, he said the economy would need to grow by 7.2 percent.

For 2023 to 2028, the government is aiming for 6.5 to 8 percent GDP growth.

Despite challenges in the near term including rising prices, Balisacan said the economy shows resilience and growth recovery.

“The priorities for the medium term 2023 to 2028 are invigorating job creation, inducing rapid poverty reduction and hastening economic transformation, all while adhering to prudent macroeconomic management,” Balisacan said.

He said the upcoming Philippine Development Plan for 2023 to 2028, anchored on the eight-point socioeconomic agenda, would provide the roadmap towards addressing binding constraints to investments and job creation.

“In line with the agenda, the President has ordered the cabinet to aggressively pursue new trade opportunities, properly implement recently amended liberalization laws and fully utilize public private partnerships,” he said.

He would push the passage of  legislative measures that will  increase the country’s competitiveness and resiliency, improve efficiency of the bureaucracy, and entice investments.

“We are confident that the problems we face are not insurmountable,” he said.

NEDA

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