PH logs fastest growth among Asean 5 nations-A A +A
Sunday, November 3, 2013
FOLLOWING the improved ranking of the Philippines in the ease of doing business, the statistics office reported last Wednesday that the Philippine economy is now the fastest growing among the five largest economies of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or Asean 5.
The Asean 5, comprising Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, is expected to be the key growth driver not only in Southeast Asia but also in the greater Asia Pacific region, the National Statistics Office (NSO) website said.
Data from the 2012 Asean Community Progress Monitoring System (ACPMS) Report pointed out the country’s resilience when it maintained growth amidst the global financial slowdown in 2008 and 2009.
The report noted that the country’s economy was accelerating during the pre-crisis period of 2005-2007. Its momentum, though, was abruptly stopped during the onslaught of global economic crisis in 2008 and 2009. It regained its momentum in 2010 but slowed down once again in 2011.
The report said that from the second half of 2012 to the first half of 2013, “the economy has been in full swing growing at more than seven percent and outperforming its peers.”
The Philippines grew by 6.8 percent in 2012, which according to the statistics office, is higher than the Asean and Asean 5 averages. Compared with the other Asean countries, the country’s growth last year was the third best in the region, ranking next only to Lao PDR’s 7.9 percent and Cambodia’s seven percent.
The country’s economy grew by 7.6 percent in the first semester this year.
The services sector has the largest share of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), while the agriculture sector’s share to GDP has continuously gone down. GDP refers to the total value of goods and services produced and paid for in a country in a given period.
The statistics office said the services sector share is continuously growing from 54 percent in 2005 to 56.9 percent in 2012. On the other hand, the agriculture sector has the lowest percentage share of 13.3 percent in 2005 to 11.1 percent in 2012.
Among Asean 5, the services sectors in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia also have the largest percentage shares to GDP. Meanwhile, Thailand’s industry sector consistently has the greatest share to its GDP since 2005. Likewise, the agriculture sector’s share to GDP in these four countries has continued to dwindle down since 2005, the report said.
The Philippines, however, posted the lowest GDP per capita among the Asean 5 (in PPP terms) of $4,339 while Singapore continuously posted the highest per capita GDP in the group, followed by Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
Sought for comment, Lito Maderazo of Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that while the development would help build investor confidence, the country still needs more investments in infrastructure, agriculture and manufacturing to make the growth long-term and sustainable.
“We are the fastest growing but this (positive gains) still has to translate to higher investments and job creation,” said Gordon Alan Joseph, president of the Cebu Business Club. “These are all good developments but what is next for the Philippines, for investment attraction and job generation? This is more critical than statistical results.”
The statistics office said the country cannot sit on these laurels because much remains to be done to sustain the high growth trajectory and to make it inclusive. It said that sustaining the growth is not solely government’s responsibility but also of the private sectors to step up in their investments to ensure growth is sustained and shared by everyone.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 04, 2013.