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APEC to Open More Opportunities for PH

by: Sarah Joson

Friday, November 6, 2015 |

Economists believe that the Philippines has a great chance of showcasing its capabilities and gains to the rest of the world as it is set to host the  Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings. The Philippines is also said to have better fundamentals today, compared to 1996, which was the last time it staged the summit.

University of Asia and the Pacific’s Senior Economist Cid L. Terosa said the upcoming event is the perfect time for the country to “show off” gains of its economy and stronger economic role in APEC.

On the other hand, Rene E. Ofreneo, Professor and former Dean of the University of the Philippines School of Labor and Industrial Relations, said the government is taking advantage of the event by promoting the country as a supporter of globalization, but he said it is not exactly the case particularly for the industrial development side.

The economists paralleled the country’s current economic stance to what it was almost two decades ago. Terosa said back in 1996, the country was more exposed to external economic conditions, but nowadays, it is more resilient against external shocks as it now has a reinforced domestic economic environment. He even noted that the Philippines is an example of “economic resurgence”.

Nicholas Antonio T. Mapa, Associate Economist at Bank of the Philippine Islands, aired the same sentiment, saying 1996 was also a good year for the country because it was an up and coming nation. Today, however, its fundamentals are stronger.

But Mr. Ofreneo pointed out that the Philippines had big plans back in 1996 which included a structural shift in its economy - though it did not materialize. The country became more advanced in terms of its dependence on the continuous influx of remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and bullish growth of the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector and services exports.


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