The Philippines: Spotlight on Country's Long-Term Plans For Inclusive Growth

Philippines

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7 May 2012
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Oxford Business Group launches 2012 report on economy

The major role earmarked for the Philippines’ thriving business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in attracting new investment is given wide-ranging coverage in a report just published by Oxford Business Group (OBG). 
The Report: The Philippines 2012, provides in-depth analysis of the steps the country is taking to drive further BPO growth on the back of lower bandwidth costs, including the development of 25 new ‘Next Wave Cities’ to accommodate the sector’s expanding workforce.

The publication, which was launched at the AIM Conference Center, Manila, on May 7, contains a contribution from the President of the Philippines Benigno Aquino III, together with a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for investors. The Report: The Philippines 2012, which marks OBG’s fourth report on the country’s economic development and investment opportunities, has been produced in partnership with the Makati Business Club (MBC). Contributions have also been made by the Investor Relations Office (IRO) of the Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), the professional services company Punongbayan & Araullo, and the law firm Sycip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan.

It provides a wide range of interviews with leading political, economic and business representatives including the Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management Florencio Abad, the Chairman of the Makati Business Club and the President and CEO of the Philippine Investment Management Ramon R del Rosario Jr, the Secretary of the Department of Finance Cesar V Purisima and the Secretary of the Department of Tourism Ramon Jimenez.

International personalities, such as the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Hague, the Secretary-General of ASEAN Surin Pitsuwan, the Executive Director of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Secretariat Ambassador Muhamad Noor and the EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht also offer their views on the Philippines’ economic development.

The Report: The Philippines 2012 looks in detail at the country’s ambitious plans to boost the contribution tourism makes to the economy. The publication maps out the government’s key objectives, which include a target to welcome 10m foreign visitor arrivals by 2016, while analysing its recently-revised plans to increase capacity, rebrand the tourism product and improve infrastructure.

With commodity prices continuing to rise, OBG’s new report considers the huge potential for investment in the Philippines’ mining sector. While highlighting the country’s rich mineral reserves, which include gold, copper, nickel, chromites, iron and aluminium, the publication also considers measures that could support the sector’s development, such as incentives, clarifications to regulations and greater transparency.

Regional Editor Paulius Kuncinas highlighted the key contribution that household consumption was making to economic growth in the Philippines, helped by the country’s burgeoning middle class and overseas remittance flows. “In addition, consumer and business sentiment has remained upbeat thanks to manageable inflation rates, improving employment conditions and strong credit activity,” he said.

Kuncinas added that the new government’s efforts to steer through its public-private partnership (PPP) programme could be instrumental in driving up investment levels. “Getting PPPs off the ground as soon as possible would add a fresh momentum to what remains a consumption-driven growth story,” he said. “This would also help to drive up FDI numbers that are currently still low compared to other ASEAN destinations.”

OBG’s Country Director Lauren Denny thanked the Group’s partners, saying their local knowledge had given The Report: The Philippines 2012 an edge.

“Our research team has benefited greatly from the expertise of our partners in the Philippines,” she said. “Their input has helped us to produce a report which highlights the important developments taking place here, while providing international business leaders with the information they need to make their investment decisions.”

The Report: The Philippines 2012 marks the culmination of more than six months of field research by a team of analysts from OBG, assessing trends and developments across the economy, including macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and other sectoral developments. The report is available in print or online.