Aquino administration fires up PHL economy, foreign chambers say

MANILA, March 3 (PNA) — The current administration led by President Benigno S. Aquino III has provided the country a good platform to further leap its economic growth, leaders of the Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) said.

In a press conference during Arangkada Forum on Tuesday, Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (ANZCHAM) president Ian Porter said the Aquino administration has started the improvement of the country’s economy.

“This [administration] is a very good start. No administration accomplished necessary reforms in one period,” Porter said.

For his part, Canadian Chamber of Commerce Julian H. Payne mentioned that the current government has improved the country’s fiscal and monetary management.

Payne, however, said the country’s economy needs diversification from depending on remittances of overseas Filipino workers, strong business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, and success of Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) to agriculture, manufacturing, and mining sectors, among others.

“It [government] stands alone in financial or fiscal management; its monetary management have been very good. The improvement of banking sector has been very good. But there are still areas of improvement,” he noted.

“The question for this administration is how sustainable these reforms are?” ANZCHAM’s Porter added.

Porter further said the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth has a potential to grow by over 8.0 percent a year for a longer period if reforms are sustained.

Under the Aquino administration, annual GDP growth grew by an average of 6.3 percent.

Moreover, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) president Micahel Raeuber noted that the administration’s push to curb corruption and promoting integrity among government offices as well as in the business community has contributed to the country’s economic gains.

Raeuber said the voting population shall consider the next president as someone who can continue the reforms started by the Aquino administration and can keep business cost, energy, and transportation costs from rising as well as liberalization of the economy in order to increase the level of competition in the local market which will provide better quality and prices of products and services. (PNA)