Investors told to shun negative media reports about Philippines

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, October 13, 2017
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MANILA, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez advised potential investors on Friday to shun the negative news being churned out by international media about the Philippines, urging them to look at the "real numbers" instead.

In a news conference at the Malacanang presidential palace, Lopez said "Please don't be carried away by the international media releases."

Lopez was apparently referring to the news about the spate of drug-related killings in the country and the involvement of some rogue policemen in the continuing anti-drug war.

Lopez and the other members of President Rodrigo Duterte's economic team have recently visited China, Japan, the Europe Union, Germany and the United States to convince investors to invest in the Philippines.

"We are basically correcting misperceptions. We told them to look at the real numbers. What the international media have highlighted are the isolated cases (of abuses), a few of them," Lopez said.

In a statement, President Duterte's office said the administration's economic strategy is paying off.

"Signs of improvements can be seen in the gross domestic products (GDP), trade exports, foreign investments, and job generation," the statement said.

Looking at the administration's economic performance by the numbers, the country's GDP grew by 6.5 percent in the second quarter and 6.4 percent in the first half of the year.

The statement said manufacturing, trade, and real estate renting and business activities were among the main drivers of growth for the period.

Moreover, it said the Philippine economy is currently ranked as the world's 10th fastest growing economy in the world by the World Bank's 2017 Global Economic Prospects.

With the stock market following the economy, it said the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) has been rallying recently, breaking all-time highs almost every day reaching a new peak at the 8,400-point level.

Buoyed up by the strong GDP performance in the first half of 2017, it said Philippine investments prospects remain bright as projects registered with the Board of Investments (BOI) reached 268 with a total value of 294.8 billion pesos (5.7 billion U.S. dollars) from January to July this year, up by 40 percent from the same period last year.

Meanwhile, it said the revival of the Asia-Pacific region has boosted the country's exports, which account for nearly a third of its GDP.

It said total exports rose by 9.3 percent to 5.5 billion U.S. dollars in August 2017 as compared to the same month of previous year.

Electronic products continued to be the Philippines' top export, followed by other manufactured goods, such as agro-based, mineral, forest, and petroleum products, the statement said.

As for the employment growth, the statement said the Philippines' outstanding macroeconomic fundamentals, coupled with the administration's ongoing massive infrastructure spending through the Build-Build-Build Infrastructure Program, which is seen to increase economic activities and generate more jobs.

From January to July 2017, it said the country has attained a 57-percent employment gain, with 58,758 estimated new jobs compared to the same period in 2016.

The employment rate in July 2017 was estimated at 94.4 percent, with workers in the services sector accounted for 55.6 percent of the total employed, followed by the agriculture sector with 25.2 percent, and the industry sector with 19.2 percent.

"The improving economy is surely one factor in (Duterte's) approval rating," the statement said. Enditem

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