Monday, 6 July 2009

Philippines still a growth story

Cai U. Ordinario
Business Mirror
http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/home/top-news/12720-still-a-growth-storyrecto.html

“THE Philippines is still a growth story. Our message today for investors is for them to continue to believe in the Philippines and invest in the Philippines.”

This was the proud statement of Director General Ralph Recto of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) after international credit-rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) gave a stable outlook for the country’s long-term ratings.

The rating service affirmed its long-term “BB-” and short-term “B” foreign-currency sovereign credit rating on the Philippines, and the Philippines’ “BB+” long-term and “B” short-term local-currency sovereign credit ratings.

“The message of S&P’s affirmation of the Philippines’ credit ratings and the stable outlook on the ratings is that the country is relatively resilent to the global financial crisis,” said Recto.

Neda Deputy Director General Rolando Tungpalan, also presidential economic affairs spokesman, said the credit-rating agency was able to see through the “tough” economic decision and policies recently adopted by the government.

Tungpalan said in the June 2009 Asia-Pacific Sovereign Report Card, S&P forecast a 1.3-percent real gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the Philippines this year, which is within the government’s 0.8-percent to 1.8-percent growth forecast.

He also said among the 21 countries mentioned in the report, only nine countries were seen to post positive growth this year, and this includes the Philippines.

The other Asia-Pacific countries projected to post positive growth are China, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

“These [economic measures and policies] are what enabled the country to post growth and remain resilient amid the global economic downturn. We are working even harder now to sustain growth and create more jobs for our people,” added Tungpalan.

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