Palace lauds WB positive forecast for PH in 2018

MANILA -- Malacanang on Thursday welcomed the World Bank's (WB) forecast that the Philippines would continue to be one of the fastest-growing economies among Southeast Asian countries in 2018.

We welcome the latest forecast of the World Bank in its Global Economic Prospects January 2018 Report, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

With the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act, Roque said the Philippines would continue to be one of the top performing economies as it would boost infrastructures spending.

The big roll out of the major infrastructure projects will result in the substantial increase in our gross domestic product in 2018, Roque said.

He also said the timely implementation of the infrastructure program would be critical in bringing down the cost of doing business and making the country's exporters more competitive.

In its Global Economic Prospects January 2018 report, WB said the Philippines' expected 6.7-percent economic growth in 2017 would be sustained until 2019.

The WB report also said Cambodia was expected to be the fastest growing economy with 6.9 percent while Myanmar was predicted to also hit 6.7 percent followed by Laos and Vietnam with 6.6 and 6.5 percent, respectively.

Roque also welcomed the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) report that the Philippines' foreign direct investment (FDI)'s net inflows in October 2017 hit USD2 billion compared to USD670 million in 2016.

FDI net inflows for the first 10 months of 2017 grew from year-on-year by 20.5 percent to USD7.9 billion, Roque said quoting the BSP's report.

The Netherlands, Singapore, Kuwait, Germany and US were the top sources of the country's FDI in October 2017.

Roque said the BSP reported that a significant portion of equity capital placements were channeled to electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply activities.

He said other sectors that received investment inflows were manufacturing, construction, real estate and wholesale and retail trade.

Source: Philippine News Agency