Asia Investments: The Philippines

philippinesThere is much potential these days for the Philippines as a hotspot of Asia investments.  It took a while, but since 2004, the region has been back to its pre-1980s status with GDP averaging 5 percent. A year ago, there was a 7.2 percent growth in the country, marking the highest out of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations economies.

The Philippines does need to sort out some economic issues. For example, its high unemployment rate (standing at 16.5 percent for youth) is most concerning. More quality jobs need to be available to prevent the 10 percent of Philippine workers seeking employment in other countries.

There has been an increase in macroeconomic stability in the region due to Bangko Sentral independence and inflation is now controllable due to lower fiscal deficits and public debt. As well, its economy increased 6.4% on year in the second quarter of 2014, rendering it one of Asia’s fastest-growing countries. Over the last four years, the government that has been in power has increased infrastructure public spending. The 10 percent of residents who send money back home are maintaining the strength of the local economy. In addition, there was an increase of 5.3 percent consumption. Elevated exports are also assisting in growth. But there was a drop in public construction spending.

At the end of the day, the Philippines has a lot going for it economically. But for it to really thrive in the long-term, some serious work needs to be done on its capacity to create real jobs at home.