Secondly, socio-economic factors contributing to the nation’s increasing competitiveness include the demographic of the growing population – with 61 per percent of its inhabitants being of working age, the Philippines benefits from a young workforce , providing an advantage over its ageing Asian neighbours. And politically, measures have been taken to warrant increased stability, including "aggressive action to address corruption", as cited by the New York Times.
Thirdly, the services sector is booming. “The Philippines, where English is widely spoken, surpassed India last year as the world’s leading provider of voice-based outsourcing services like customer service call centres," said the New York Times in its recent report. And outside the country, 9.5 million Filipino expats are contributing to the wealth pool, responsible for repatriating approximately $20billion of revenue to their home country in 2011.
Looking ahead, the future could be bright for the Philippines. It holds an estimated 21.5 billion tons of metals in the country that have yet to be exploited. The export and manufacturing industry, while underdeveloped so far, is a potential source of growth, if other Asian economies’ success stories are anything to go by. The New York Times also noted that the Philippines, 44th largest economy in the world, holds an estimated US$70 billion in reserves and its local currency, the Peso, recently reached a four-year high against the dollar.
This has led to many investors citing the country’s growth potential - Citi Private Bank for one has included the Philippines among in its list of Global Growth Generators (“3G” countries), that over the next 5, 10, 20 and 40 years are expected to deliver high growth and profitable investment opportunities.
HSBC recently estimated that based on current trends, the 92million people-strong country is on course to work its way up the ranks to become the 16th largest economy in the world by 2050. Supporting this view, the Wealth Report 2012, published by Frank Knight residential group, forecast the country’s GDP to grow at an average annual rate of 7.3 per cent between 2010 and 2050 – placing the nation’s economic rating not far behind rising BRIC star, India, with an 8 per cent GDP growth forecast. Watch this space.