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PIA Press Release

RP, sick man of Asia, makes unexpected recovery, foreign newspaper says

Tacloban City (September 11) -- The economic growth the Philippines has been experiencing, thanks to the strong leadership of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, is being observed with interest by foreign countries.

While the detractors remain blind and refuse to acknowledge the country's economic growth, the international community recognizes the positive developments in the Philippine economy.

Proof to this is the interesting and informative write up of Mr. James Hookway which appeared at The Wall Street Journal (Asia) on Friday, August 31, 2007.

Mr. Hookway wrote that for the past two years, the Philippines has been rebounding. This year, he said, the nation's economy is expected to post its fastest growth rate since the early 1990s. The Philippine economy grew at a 7.5% annual rate in the second quarter.

Moreso, Mr. Hookway wrote, the stock market has soared over the past two years and foreign investors are coming back, "attracted by the Philippines' young population, the average age of the 89 million people is 22, and the widespread use of English which is a legacy of its past as American colony.

Mr. Hookway said that the call center business is thriving in the country, some of it poached from India. He mentioned the development of Fort Bonifacio from a sprawling old military base to a business complex of office towers, embassy buildings, shopping malls and multinational companies are now based.

The write up also mentioned that Adrian Mowat, a strategist at J.P. Morgan Securities Ltd. in Hongkong, predicted that the " Philippines could be the next India in terms of its ability to surprise."

Mr. Hookway attributed the credit for the turnaround to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo' s political will and strong leadership. He said that two years ago, with thousands of street protestors threatening to oust her and with the country drifting toward a financial crisis, she pushed for a higher sales tax through Congress.

The politically risky step showed investors the nation was serious about putting the house in order. Today, the Philippines is expected to have a balanced budget by 2008 and a budget surplus by 2009.

One of the best compliment a country could get from a foreigner was written by Mr. Hookway when he said that "the nation's economic comeback is the kind of remedies that struggling developing nations must consider to compete in the global economies."

This should give the make the Filipinos feel proud and feel secure. The country under the leadership of President Arroyo is on the right track to fast becoming a progressive country.

Let us just continue keeping our fingers crossed, hold hands together and have faith in the leadership of President Arroyo. (PIA 8) [top]

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