Investment grade economy and falling corruption makes Philippines good place to invest


The Philippines received a boost yesterday when Moody’s Investors Service raised the rating on Philippine government debt one level to Baa3. The Philippines has had an especially good year with Fitch upgrading the country to investment grade credit scores in March and this was followed by Standard and Poor’s following in May.

The country has been quick to seize on the boost to their economic progress which Moody’s described as a ‘robust economic performance’. Yesterday Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Gregory L. Domingo spoke at an ‘Economic briefing and Trade & Investment Opportunities’ conference in London where he and other speakers stressed the new investment rating.

The DTI Secretary also talked about the high levels of growth, with manufacturing growing at around 9.9% in the first half of 2013 and also the access to 100 million Filipinos as well as the larger 600 million market of ASEAN. The Secretary mentioned the bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) the Philippines has with Japan.

The speakers at the conference also stressed the high levels of spending on infrastructure and education. Cosette V. Canilao, the Executive Director of the PPP Center said that there were currently 47 projects in the pipeline with four projects awarded and in progress. She encouraged investors to talk to the PPP Center about investment opportunities.

Undersecretary at the Department of Trade and Industry, Ponciano C. Manalo Jr, told the conference that the country was open for investment across a wide range of industry sectors including aerospace (especially MRO), shipbuilding and maintenance, ICT, apparel (high end), retail, insurance, automotive, processed foods and fine jewellery.

Corruption has been an issue within government circles but since being elected in 2010 President Benigno Aquino III has worked assiduously at eliminating corruption. This shows best in the way in which the Philippines is rising in the Transparency International Corruption Perception ratings. In 2010 the country was 134th of 178 nations monitored with the 178th being the most corrupt; in the 2012 rating the Philippines stands at 105 of 176.

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