WIthin some years of having a low ranking among other countries when it comes to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Philippines has now been tagged as a “Rising Tiger” and finally catching up to its fellow tiger countries in Asia. After finishing with a strong 6.8% economic growth, the Philippines remains as one of the fast-growing economy in Asia, leaving China with 6.7% and Vietnam with 6.2%.
Despite the typhoons in the last months of 2016, the Philippines remained among the region’s top performers but slid to the 3rd spot as Vietnam’s 6.7% overtook the Philippines for the first time in 2016. According to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco Jr The full-year growth of 6.8% and 4th quarter growth of 6.6% were “in line with market expectations.”
The Philippine economy, now about $292 billion, was more than twice the size of Malaysia’s and 10 times bigger than Singapore’s in 1960. A steady decline since then got it the label “the sick man of Asia” while its peers expanded rapidly. The nation’s resurgence begun with former President Benigno Aquino, who took office in 2010, raised revenue, curbed corruption and won the nation’s first-ever investment grade credit ratings.
“We are seeing a transformation to a stronger, more developed economy,” said Frederic Neumann, co-head of Asian economic research at HSBC Holdings Plc in Hong Kong. “Recent administrations worked hard to ensure macroeconomic stability which serves as its anchor.”
For Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) associate economist Nicholas Antonio Mapa, the Philippines can expect growth to carry on its “strong trend of above 6%,” with household consumption and consumption-related investment seen to carry the load.
By the end of this decade, the Philippines can achieve upper middle-income country status with per capita income of at least $4,126, the Asian Development Bank forecasts, joining the likes of China, Malaysia and Thailand.