The Philippines hosted the annual World Economic Forum on East Asia in Manila from May 21-23. While it served as an opportunity for President Benigno Aquino to showcase the turnaround of the Philippine economy since he took office in June 2010, it also revealed some challenges still standing in the way of lasting and sustainable economic growth. We examine the achievements of and challenges facing the Philippine economy by the numbers:
The gross domestic product growth of the Philippines in 2013, second only to China in Asia. Some Philippine officials have suggested this figure would have been higher if it had not been for the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan and the Bohol earthquake.
The number of places the Philippines has moved up from 2013 to 2014 in the World Bank’s annual report on the ease of doing business. The biggest improvements were in access to credit (rising to 86 from 126) and the ability of citizens to resolve bankruptcies (rising to 100 from 164).
The estimated value of mineral reserves in the country’s southern region of Mindanao, which is expected to see an influx of investment following successful peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front completed in March.
The estimated number of Filipinos living and working overseas. Remittances account for nearly $23 billion, or 8.4 percent, of the Philippine economy, greatly exceeding the $4 billion of foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2013. The Philippines consistently ranks among the lowest FDI recipients among major ASEAN economies.
The world ranking of seaport facilities in the Philippines, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index. Infrastructure development continues to be a challenge affecting nearly every industry in the Philippines. Airports did not fare much better with a ranking of 113, while transport infrastructure overall rose slightly to 84.
The number of procedures businesses are required to take in order to obtain a warehouse construction permit in the Philippines. This compares to 8 in Thailand and 13 in Indonesia.
The number of Filipinos currently employed in the global business process outsourcing industry, an area of growth that is expected to continue flourishing.