GOVERNMENT economic planners have remained optimistic the Philippine economy will remain strong in the next two years, as the country is determined to maintain its sound macroeconomic fundamentals and continue improving its investment climate through policy and regulatory reforms and infrastructure development.
"For this year, we expect the economy to grow six to seven percent. For next year, the growth is expected to accelerate to 6.5 to 7.5 percent," Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said in his speech, a copy of which was obtained by Sun.Star, during the recent economic briefing and general membership meeting of the Managers Association of the Philippines in Manila.
Amid some possible external risks, he said, the government is confident to meet these economic growth outlooks.
"Notwithstanding the positive economic outlook in the near-term, the government remains vigilant of the global and domestic risks to growth," he said in the same forum.
Global risks to growth, he said, include the uncertainty in the Euro zone and the fiscal problem in the US, which can adversely affect the global economy.
"We are also mindful of the possibility of oil price increases due to a higher global demand for petroleum products," said Balisacan, also director general of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).
But given the fiscal space and business confidence the past year, Balisacan said 2013 opens opportunities to sustain the growth momentum and achieve inclusive growth.
"As we have underscored in the Philippine Development Forum, these two objectives need not contradict each other. Inclusive growth is not only a goal but a growth strategy. To sustain the growth of our economy, we must ensure that economic growth benefits everyone, regardless of location or social status," he said.
In 2012, the Philippines posted a 6.6 percent growth in real Gross Domestic Product...