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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  1 February  2016  

 Philippine GDP rises by 5.8% in 2015

THE Philippine economy grew 5.8 per cent in 2015, short of even lowered government expectations after being hampered by a weak world economy, El Nino and slow government spending in the first half of the year.

The government initially forecast growth of seven to eight per cent for 2015 but later lowered its projection to six to 6.5 per cent.

“Though this is lower than what we targeted for the year, this growth is respectable given the difficult external environment,” Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said yesterday.

The Philippines has been one of the fastest growing economies in Asia for several years. Despite increased government efforts to raise living standards, the country of more than 100 million still faces considerable challenges including its vulnerability to typhoons and other natural disasters, poverty, corruption and poor infrastructure.

The economy expanded 6.3 per cent in the last quarter of the year, the fastest for 2015. It was up from 6.1 per cent the previous quarter but down from 6.6 per cent in the same period of 2014.

Balisacan said growth has averaged 6.2 per cent in the past six years, which is the best performance since the late 1970s. The growth has not been due to unsustainable borrowings like in the 1970s and short-lived portfolio capital but fueled by investments that create jobs and increase incomes. He said last year’s growth was driven by much stronger domestic demand and government spending that grew 9.4 per cent compared to the previous year’s 1.7 per cent. Growth in public and private investments more than doubled, primarily led by public construction.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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