MANILA – The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth can accelerate to above 8.0 percent with the easing of government regulations and restrictions in the economy, an economist said.
Standard Chartered Bank’s chief economist for Asia David Mann, in a press briefing in Taguig City Tuesday, said it is possible for the Philippines to increase its GDP growth from the current average of more than 6.0 percent to a range of 7.0 percent to above 8.0 percent in the next five years.
Mann said the 7.0 percent to above 8.0 percent GDP growth is an “achievable” economic expansion for the country if the government pushes for economic liberalization, and boosts public sector spending in infrastructure and human capital by investing in health and education.
“If you grow at 7.0 (percent), you’re doubling (your economy) every 10 years,” he noted.
The bank’s economist cited Vietnam’s easing of economy which opened doors for more foreign direct investments (FDIs) to enter its market – making Vietnam a sweet spot in Asia.
He added that the ASEAN neighbor is proactive in attracting FDIs with the ease of doing business, lower costs of operation, right policy structure, and strong supply chain.
A Standard Chartered survey also showed that investors prefer Vietnam and Cambodia, respectively, as their next location if they plan to move capacity out of China.
The Philippines is also in the list of investment destinations, but it is behind Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Thailand, and India.
Despite the economic restrictions, the initial GDP growth projection of Standard Chartered for the Philippines this year is at 6.4 percent, higher than Vietnam’s forecast of 6.0 percent.
Mann noted that Standard Chartered has revised GDP forecasts for the Philippines from 6.4 percent to 6.8 percent by end-2016 and from 6.6 percent to 6.7 percent by end-2017.