Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez
Reacting to the 7.1 percent GDP growth in the third quarter this year, which is a reversal from the negative 11.6 percent in the same period last year, the DTI chief expressed confidence that the country’s economic recovery is sustainable.
“We expect to sustain the recovery that started early this year and I believe the fourth quarter will even be stronger as we actually allowed more reopening of sectors and deescalation of community quarantine levels in October this year,” he said. With that, he reiterated the need to ensure compliance of people to public health standards to avoid a reoccurrence of a surge.
Another contributor to the GDP growth, he said, is the vaccine rollout to the countryside and the new pharmaceutical treatments also add to the confidence that the recovery momentum will accelerate in the coming months.
Furthermore, the double-digit growth rates in foreign direct investments (FDI) and exports shall contribute to higher GDP output moving forward.
He pointed out that the $5.56 billion FDI, reflecting a growth of 43.7 percent, for Jan to July 2021, compared to same period last year was even higher than prepandemic 2019 figure for same period by 30.2 percent. “This is contrary to other inaccurate reports of weak investments in the country,” he said.
Comparatively, he said the average annual FDI from 2016-20 was $8.75 billion (including pandemic year of 2020) would show that the January-July FDI was 145 percent higher than the $3.57 billion average annual FDI in 2010-2015.
“This makes Philippines ranked 4th in Southeast Asia as recipient of FDI, coming from 6th rank in the previous 6-year period,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said, exports growth also posted double-digit growth rate of 17.97 percent for Jan to September 2021, compared to same period last year. It is even higher than prepandemic 2019 figure for same period by 4.6 percent.
The average annual export level from 2016-20 was $66.3 billion (including pandemic year of 2020). This means that the current exports value is 10.7 percent higher than the $54.9 billion average annual export level in 2010-2015.
“These are certainly encouraging sustained improvements for the country, counting even the pandemic period,” he said.
He said that with continuing major economic reforms and the Build Build Build infrastructure development priorities of the government administration will “further strengthen the economic fundamentals of the country towards a more comfortable life and prosperity for the Filipinos.”
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