MANILA—Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. on Friday said ASEAN and EU policy makers and investors need to adjust to latest global developments to further strengthen economic ties, among others.
“In this time of uncertainty better and stronger global cooperation is the best way forward,” Tetangco said in his speech during the EU-ASEAN business summit in Conrad Manila in Pasay City.
The central bank chief said there are lots of opportunities for stronger economic relationship between the EU and the ASEAN and one of these is through development of micro, medium and small enterprises (MSMEs).
He said both regional groups put high regard on MSMEs as it account for the large portion of businesses in countries.
He said MSMEs account for about 80 to 99 percent of establishments in the ASEAN while the figure is around 99 percent in EU.
Thus, the need for closer cooperation and expanded market access for the sector since this employ bulk of the workers in an economy.
He said there is also a need to further increase the support on the integration of supply and value chain and ensure the sectors’ access to finance.
With this, the BSP chief said investors are assured of their funds in the Philippines since the domestic economy is projected to sustain its robust growth.
He said the government’s 6.5-7.5 percent gross domestic product (GDP) target for this year is achievable “and remain a source of strength for the ASEAN region.
In 2016, the economy registered a 6.8 percent expansion, near the upper end of the government’s six to seven percent target and one of the highest in the region.
Tetangco said the monetary and fiscal sectors have enough policy space to respond to the materialization of shocks vis-à-vis the policies in the US, among others.
Additional buffers include the government’s bid to increase infrastructure spending, which is seen to provide more jobs and support economic growth.
“At the same time the monetary authorities have the flexibility to adjust policy as needed to sustain price and financial stability without sacrificing economic activity,” he said.
“Looking forward our fundamentals will serve as the screen of resilience in the economy amidst the external headwinds,” he added.