SM Investments Corporation vice chairperson Teresita Sy-Coson, who is also the chairperson of the country’s biggest bank, BDO, sees the Philippines as remaining resilient while Southeast Asia stands out as a beacon of growth.
At the recent Asian Financial Forum held in Hong Kong, Sy-Coson noted that the Philippines continues to enjoy economic growth of between 6 percent and 7 percent in the last three years.
[caption id="attachment_234689" align="alignleft" width="300"] Ms. Teresita Sy-Coson in a session during the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong
Source: Aff Website[/caption]
The main factors supporting this growth are robust overseas workers’ remittances, expansion in the business process outsourcing (BPO) and rapid urbanization of the Philippine countryside.
Against a backdrop of global uncertainties, and economic slowdown in major parts of the world, Sy-Coson is optimistic that Southeast Asia offers opportunities for growth.
“The Philippines remains resilient. A slowdown in the developed economies is unlikely to hold back the development of the country in a major way. Our strong domestic private consumption will help insulate the country from extreme shocks and volatility,” Sy-Coson said.
Remittances from overseas Filipino workers and the income from the BPO sector have fueled consumption growth, and have also resulted in growth in real estate and domestic tourism.
Despite the slowing down of agricultural production and of lower public spending, economic growth in the Philippines remains robust, supported by solid domestic demand.
She added that further upsides will come from infrastructure spending while the development of ports, toll roads, and mass transit systems will facilitate growth of peripheral industries.
For its part, SM is poised to take advantage of these growth opportunities, being a dominant player in the Philippine property, banking and retail sectors.
She also said that foreign direct investments can focus on what the Philippines can offer such as the abundance of quality labor, a good educational system that caters to technology and research, and a strong service provider industry and orientation.