The Philippines will grow to become one of the world’s biggest economies in the next 14 years thanks to its strong fundamentals, but it is likely to be a rocky ride as the outcome of the May 9 elections poses major risks for the country, according to British research group Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
In a commentary on the upcoming elections, Miguel Chanco, Association of Southeast Asian Nations lead analyst for EIU, said the Philippines would rise to be the world’s 21st biggest economy by 2030.
The EIU analyst noted that from being the “sick man of Asia,” the Philippines has made slow and steady improvements in infrastructure, its regulatory environment, and in reducing corruption, which have led to a steady uptick in most economic indicators.
Most notable is the boom in investment, which has increased by over 10 percent in three of the last four years, he said.
“The country’s fundamentals are such that the EIU believe that the Philippines will rise from being the world’s 33rd biggest economy today, to 21st by 2030–just behind the Netherlands–but the ride will be a bit rockier,” Chanco said.
Chanco stressed that whatever the result, the election on Monday is likely to put a dent in the Philippines’ recent positive economic performance.
“None of the front-runners are likely to secure a mandate as strong as Benigno Aquino [3rd]’s,” he said.
Aquino was elected President in 2010 by winning just over 42 percent of the vote.
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of Davao City, who Chanco noted echoes US presidential aspirant Donald Trump, has had a storming campaign and now has a real chance of winning.
Chanco also pointed out that the campaign of the other possible winner, Senator Grace Poe, has been marred by questions of eligibility and her victory could be challenged in court by the runner-up.
“While a messy transition in government is a given, things will look very different depending on who wins,” he concluded.