Talks with investors and debt watchers set
The country’s economic managers are meeting credit ratings agency and investors to counter “adverse” reports about the current state of the country, a Cabinet official said.
“We will have meetings with the three rating agencies as well as investors because we want to counter adverse media reports coming out in the Washington Post and the New York Times,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia told reporters in a press chat late last week.
The talks will take place on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group in Washington D.C. this week.
Also flying to Washington are Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd, Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno and central bank Governor Amando Tetangco Jr.
Pernia said Duterte’s economic team will highlight the strong macroeconomic fundamentals of the Philippines and the administration’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda.
Slump in competitiveness
In a separate statement on Tuesday, Dominguez said the 10-point socioeconomic agenda aims to combat generational poverty and sustain high growth by sharpening the country’s global competitiveness to entice more investors to do business in the Philippines.
Dominguez noted the administration has jumpstarted over the past three months an array of initiatives to improve the ease of doing business in the country and reverse the Philippines’ decline in ranking in the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s global competitiveness index in the final year of the Aquino presidency.
The Finance chief noted the president, “as soon as he assumed office, put in place his 10-point socioeconomic agenda that already addresses these concerns raised by the international business community in the annual global competitiveness report of the WEF.”
Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran noted that the Philippines slipped 10 notches on the WEF competitiveness index was partly a result of the low scores in infrastructure which incurred a massive backlog under the Aquino administration.
The Philippines dropped to 57th place from 47th out of 138 countries.
“The increased spending in infrastructure, which will account for 5 percent of GDP [gross domestic product]under the Duterte presidency, will be a significant factor in boosting the country’s ranking in the WEF index, Beltran noted.
“The Duterte administration aims to reverse the decline in the Philippines’ WEF competitiveness rating that happened in the final year of the former Aquino presidency, resulting primarily from the business community’s nagging concerns over their perceived bureaucratic inefficiencies, poor infrastructure, official corruption and tax issues,” he added.