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PIA Press Release
2009/02/13

Top biz hails RP economy as brightest spot in Asia

Manila (13 February) -- THE building tsunami of turmoil stirring economies across the globe may not have the same effect for the Philippines, opines respected leader of the prestigious International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

"The Philippines remains to be one of the economies in the region insulated from the effects of the global economic downturn," observes top Hongkong businessman Dr. Victor Fung.

The insulation he credits to the unpopular reforms initiated by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo years ago.

Dr, Fung, now the first chairman of the ICC pointed to the imposition of the expanded value added tax (EVAT) by the government under President Arroyo, which has allowed the country to build a stronger financial base.

The ICC is the largest and the most represented business organization in the world covering thousands of member companies in over 130 countries spanning every sector of private enterprise.

"I think the Philippines is one of the economies in the region that has been relatively insulated from this tsunami. I am very impressed with the way the Philippine economy has functioned," Dr. Fung said.

"So I think it (Philippines economy) is terrific, is one of the brightest spots in the whole region," he added.

Despite a stir in the Philippine exporting industry caused by global recession, Fung believes it as temporary. He has noticed the uninterrupted remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and other robust businesses, such as the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, as one that could cover it all up.

The continuing reforms and policies initiated by the President years ago have firmly put the Philippines on a path to stability and growth which, has maintained the momentum in foreign investment, he said.

"Obviously your exports have been somewhat affected but still going on very strongly. That is not a major part of your economy. I think that remittances have kept up and your BPO has really been developed very strongly due to the very good policies of the government that started a few years ago," Fung said.

Fung said he and the President have been meeting quite a number of times, discussing a lot of issues such as keeping the multilateral trading system strong.

In today's environment, it is absolutely essential that we maintain the flow of trade. Trade is the lifeblood of the international economy, he stressed in reports.

In my capacity as chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) which is the voice of global business, I think the idea of making sure that we keep each other informed of our respective presence in keeping the global trading system open, it is very important," reports quoted Fung. (PIA) [top]

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