Economic managers presented the country’s profile at the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund – World Bank meetings. Led by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, they were hoping to woo the high-level audience and get more investors.
Wooing U.S. Executives
The event was called “Powering Progress through Transformative Reforms.” Approximately 150 key executives from top U.S. banking, investment, and financial companies were in attendance.
During their presentation, Diokno emphasized the Philippines’ preparedness for various challenges and boasted of the country’s “fundamentally solid” economy.
“We are prepared to face the three great challenges – growth divergence, policy fragmentation and technological disruption. For the central bank, it is a matter of careful commitment and timely action. The economy itself is fundamentally solid. Overall macroeconomic conditions provide sound basis for cautious optimism,” he said.
Another quality that was underscored at the event was the Philippine economy’s resilience to external headwinds and its capacity to sustain economic growth.
Also, Dominguez reiterated that the Philippines is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. He attributed this to many years of building a strong fiscal position, and a bureaucracy aimed at growth.
“Reaching this milestone…is attributable to many years of hard work – especially in building a strong fiscal position and a bureaucracy honed to the task of catalyzing growth,” he said.
Nevertheless, Dominguez also noted that growth is not the final goal of the Philippines. It is a “more dynamic and competitive economy” that will bring down poverty rates and create more opportunities for Filipinos.
The country has generated healthy gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the past 80 quarters. It is on its way to lowering poverty incidence to 14% (from 21.6% in 2015) by the end of President Duterte’s term.