• World Bank revises 2013 GDP target to 7%, 2014 to 6.7%


    The World Bank revised its forecast for the Philippine gross domestic product (GDP), posting higher forecast for the end of the year with 7 percent, and for next year with 6.7 percent projection, according to East Asia and Pacific Economic Update report.

    According to the World Bank report, the Philippine growth projections was seen upward: from the previous 6.2-percent to 7 percent for the 2013 GDP growth, and 6.7 percent from the earlier 6.4-percent projection for 2014.

    Motoo Konishi, World Bank Philippines director, said that further policy reforms will help the Philippines to grow more in an inclusive manner and will increase jobs that will eventually reduce poverty.

    “Reforms to enhance competition, protect property rights, simplify business regulations, and increase investment in infrastructure, education and health will boost the Philippines’ efforts to achieve inclusive growth—the type that creates more hobs and reduces poverty,” Konishi said.

    Bert Hoffman, World Bank Chief Economist, said in a live question and answer of reporters in the region that the country should raise the budget from generation of additional country revenues such as foreign investments as the Philippines “needs more resources” to be able to finance developments to be made in the country.

    “[Government budget is] still not enough to keep the Philippines growing in the medium term. [The country should] bring in some additional revenues; more revenues to have sustainable growth and financing in infrastructure,” Hoffman said in a live stream from Singapore.

    Hoffman also said that the Aquino government should have “more restructure” of its policies and should retain its “inclusive growth agenda” to be able to sustain Philippine growth trajectory.

    Within the World Bank revision on economic growth targets of the Asian region, only the Philippines registered a high increase in targets: ascending targets by 0.8 percent for 2013 and 0.3 percent for 2014, while majority of the East and Southeast Asian countries showed a decline in economic targets for years 2013 and 2014. KRISTYN NIKA M. LAZO


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