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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     3 October  2011                      

Philippines growth target ruled out

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Philippine economic managers have ruled out meeting their growth target for this year, but said the country’s expansion would continue to outpace that of advanced nations even if the euro zone resolves its debt crisis.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Amando Tetangco Jr. said the better growth prospects in emerging markets, such as the Philippines, will continue to attract investors.

He said the volatile movement in the global market was a result of growing fears about a possible default by Greece and the increasing likelihood of a global recession.

“If your look at the global economic growth, you’ll notice that emerging markets still drive the growth and this is true for 2011 as well as 2012. Although there will be some improvement in the share of advanced economies in global growth next year, the main driver of such growth will still be emerging markets,” Tetangco said.

“This will attract more investors’ appetite, especially that emerging markets are not only growing faster, but their macroeconomic conditions are stable, financial systems are sound, the external liquidity is very adequate and fiscal conditions are clearly much better that what we see in the advanced economies,” he added.

Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad said the government is optimistic that the “fighting” target of seven to eight percent growth in gross domestic product next year is possible, as the delays in this year’s spending and Public-Private Partnership scheme have already been settled.

“The slowdown in the spending have already been resolved as well as the delays on the PPP projects which were supposed to take off this year will already kick-in in 2012,” Abad said.

He said the bottleneck in spending had been addressed, after the government’s campaign to eradicate misappropriations and corruption among implementing agencies.

He said government spending “finally” turned the corner as it spent P114.93 billion in August, nearly 8 percent higher than the P106.5-billion registered in the same month of last year, thus marking the first positive growth of monthly disbursements in 2011.

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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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