NEDA Secretary gives Economic Briefing to PNBC

Last 15 February 2017, PNBC officers and members had the pleasure of listening to a high-level presentation on the state of the Philippine economy, and the socio-economic agenda of the current administration. The briefing was given by no less than Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the central planning agency of the country.

Secretary Pernia affirmed that the Philippines is one of the fastest-moving economy in Asia, posting 6.8% GDP growth in 2016. On the supply side, the main contributors to economic growth are industry and services, while the role of agriculture has been weakening. On the demand side, the economy is fast becoming less of a consumption-based and more of investment-driven economy judging from its figures on fixed capital formation (23.5%).

In terms of regional shares, growth seems to be concentrated still in Metro Manila and areas in close proximity, except for Region VII where Cebu City is located, which contributed a significant 6% to the national economy.

Secretary Pernia shared that the growth target in the medium term is from 6.5% to 8%, and this positive view is shared by other institutions like S&P and Moody’s, and investment banks like Citi and HSBC, to cite a few. He further explained that the main drivers for growth on the demand side will remain to be household consumption, remittance inflows, low inflation and low interest rates, among others. Moreover, it is expected that strong government spending in infrastructure, investments in manufacturing, PPPs, exports of services, business process management services and tourism will also propel the economy. On the supply side, the government looks at the
resurgence of agriculture and fishery, boost in construction activities and expansion in retail trade, among others, as the main drivers. Some risks and uncertainties were also discussed, both external and domestic.

Finally, the NEDA Secretary gave a run down of the 0-10 Point Agenda of the Duterte Administration, giving emphasis to the achievement of long-term peace and order as the starting point of the socio-economic agenda.

The event was held at The Peninsula Manila, and was attended by 64 members and company representatives. The Norwegian Ambassador, H.E. Erik Forner was also present. The event was opened and moderated by PNBC President Ivar Thomasli.