Good morning everyone!
Welcome to this briefing on the Philippines Economic Update (PEU).
I am the Country Director for the Philippines and I’m very pleased to meet all of you.
The PEU – prepared by our Lead economist Rogier van den Brink and senior economist and lead author Karl Chua – provides an update on key economic and social developments over the past six months. The PEU is part of the World Bank’s ongoing economic analytical work. It also presents findings from recent World Bank studies on the Philippines.
The Update places these findings in a longer term and global context, and assesses the implications of these developments and policies on the outlook for the Philippines. Its coverage ranges from the macroeconomy and financial markets to indicators of human welfare and development.
The main messages of the Economic Update are:
1. The Philippines remains among the fast-growing countries in the East Asia and the Pacific Region despite the challenging global environment.
2. In recent years, the Philippines has continued to deepen macroeconomic stability, promote transparency, and has invested in infrastructure and services that have helped poor and vulnerable families.
3. Looking forward, the country can make further strides in poverty reduction if it can enhance competition in sectors that can create more and better jobs – such as rice, shipping, and telecommunications. Also important for creating more and better jobs will be to simplify business regulations to encourage more entrepreneurs to set up shop and to improve people’s access to land through better adjudication of land rights.
Thank you again for coming and I will now hand over to my colleagues to give you an overview of the Economic Update and take your questions.