PHL is best economy in Southeast Asia – Oxford Business Group

PHL is best economy in Southeast Asia

The Philippines is the top-performing economy in Southeast Asia and if the new government plays its cards right, it can see growth ramp up in the medium-term, a consultancy said.

"It was unthinkable seven years ago, but the Philippines is the best economy in Southeast Asia today," Oxford Business Group (OBG) Managing Editor Paulius Kuncinas said in a news conference on Friday (May 13).

"Investors no longer ask why but where and what sectors they should invest in," he added.

The OBG launched its investment outlook for the Philippines for 2016-2022 and the report credited the country's strong domestic consumption, growing business process outsourcing sector and newfound political stability as some of the key factors for growth.

ICCP Group Chairman and CEO Guillermo Luchangco said he no longer has to convince his business partners to come see what the Philippines has to offer. They want to be here, he said.

The main draws for investors? A large, young, English-speaking workforce, and close trade links with Asia, the world's fastest-growing region.

Metrobank Vice-Chairman Francisco Sebastian agreed, saying, "Before, if I could entertain five to six businessmen a year, I was lucky. Now, I entertain five to six people a week."

So much has improved in the last few years, Sebastian said. The economy has grown above-5% annually. The Philippine Stock Exchange index now trades at about 7,000, nearly double the 3,600 in 2008. Foreign direct investments (FDI) have tripled in the same period, from a "miserable" $1-2 billion to $6 billion this year.

Read full article at CNN Philippines' website.

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