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.

Happy Days for UAE

Well, anyone living and investing in the UAE should be pretty happy. Things are going well which is why it shouldn’t be such a great surprise that the population has more than doubled in the last few years. In fact, figures show that there has been an increase of a staggering 65 percent inhabitants in the region from 2006 to 2010. This could be to do with the economy since most of these newbies to the area are comprised of overseas investors and workers with a mere 11 percent of those living there being UAE nationals at the end of June 2010. It is Abu Dhabi that has had the large influx of investors.

GDP Rise

The region’s non-oil GDP was said to have increased by 3.3 percent over the course of the year, according to figures released by the International Monetary Fund, as opposed to the 2.1 percent figure of last year. Additional development is anticipated due to the UAE’s “low interest rates, strong crude prices and better prospects promote expansion. ” People living in the area are thrilled with the news and “optimistic” that such trends are set to continue.

More Pocket Money?

But, at the end of the day, it remains unclear as to whether all this good news will mean more money in the pocket of the average UAE citizen. Apparently it may not. It looks like salaries are going to either stay the same or just increase a minimal amount. This is despite the fact that it seems to be an employee’s market right now as companies are on the lookout for a not-endless supply of skilled workers. So it seems a bit strange that salaries remain under lock and key. Nonetheless it’s all relative. Despite the lack of rising salaries, according to a study these salaries are still at the top of the entire Middle East market.

Economic Status of China Versus Japan

 Last quarter, China jumped in to second place in the world’s largest economy, pushing Japan out.  This is quite a significant jump considering its Communist isolation some years ago.  Figures for the second quarter were Japan’s GDP at $1.288 trillion (China at $1.337 trillion). Japan’s yearly GDP is $5.07 trillion, with China’s exceeding $4.9 trillion. China took the world out of the global recession last year, given its huge economy (over 90-times larger than in 1978 when Deng Xiaoping [the country’s premier] eliminated mega-Communist policies, replacing them with free-market reforms).  By 2027, China will even be superseding America as the world’s biggest economy where GDP is approximately $14 trillion per year according to Jim O’Neill, chief economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.