Addressing the participants during the Philippine Day Forum at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Philippine economy gains momentum in DC
THIS WEEK ON PEOPLEASIA - Babe Romualdez (The Philippine Star) - April 28, 2019 - 12:00am

It was a very successful turnout for the Philippine Day Forum at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C. that the Philippine Embassy helped organize with the Department of Finance, with some 150 high-level business executives as well as market investors, analysts, representatives from the multilateral agencies and major infrastructure players in attendance.

The Philippine team was led by Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez with Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernie Pernia, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Ben Diokno and Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo, Bases Conversion and Development Authority president Vince Dizon, Monetary Board member Bruce Tolentino, National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon and Finance Assistant Secretary Tony Lambino. They shared the Philippine growth story and the exciting economic developments that are happening in the country during the event, which was held at the sidelines of the recent IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings.

It was a very successful turnout for the Philippine Day Forum at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C. that the Philippine Embassy helped organize with the Department of Finance, with some 150 high-level business executives as well as market investors, analysts, representatives from the multilateral agencies and major infrastructure players in attendance.

Titled “Powering Progress Through Transformative Reforms,” the event -— which had the support of Citi, Standard Chartered Bank and UBS — was a great platform to showcase the progress the country has achieved over recent years of implementing reforms to power the economy.

In his speech, Secretary Dominguez said, “The Philippines is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Reaching this milestone in our development story is attributable to many years of hard work -— especially in building a strong fiscal position and a bureaucracy honed to the task of catalyzing growth.”

BCDA president Vince Dizon (right) with moderator Mona Haddad of the International Finance Corp.

Notwithstanding the uncertainties of a looming trade war, the sharp spike in oil prices plus an elevated domestic inflation rate, the Philippines still managed to post a GDP growth rate of 6.2 percent in 2018 — clearly demonstrating the resilience of the inclusive economy that President Duterte’s economic team is building. According to the Finance Secretary, the Philippine economy has been growing at an average of 6.5 percent during the first 10 quarters of President Duterte’s administration.

 The Philippines was the first nation in the ASEAN region to embark on a tax reform program before going ahead with a massive infrastructure buildup, which could bolster the country’s ability to buck the trend of a global economic slowdown.

Secretary Dominguez delivers the keynote address.

It’s encouraging to hear international observers receiving these economic reforms in a positive manner, like World Bank director of the East Asia and the Pacific macroeconomic, trade and investment GP Lalita Moorty who said, “This reform effort in the Philippines is done in a very proactive, forward-looking manner.”

No doubt the Philippine economy is gathering momentum in Washington, D.C. Hopefully, the successful economic briefing would also be conducted in the West Coast where natural interest on the Philippine economy and potential areas of investment exist. *

National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon.
World Bank financial advisory and banking department director Marcelo Giugale.

PHILIPPINE ECONOMY
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