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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        13 January 2011

Philippines sees slower growth

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Recent data indicates that Philippine exports and foreign direct investments (FDI) into the country slowed in the fourth quarter of 2010.

According to the National Statistics Office (NSO), sales abroad of Philippine-made goods rose by 11.2 percent in November, their slowest pace in a year because of weak shipments of electronic products-the country's key export.

Exports had grown by 5.1 percent in November 2009.

Month-on-month, exports likewise declined by 13.4 percent in November.

The November figure led exports to expand by 34.5 percent to $47.22 billion in the first 11 months of 2010, from $35.12 billion in the same period in 2009.

Electronics, which accounted for 56.4 percent of the total exports revenue, grew 8.5 percent to $2.333 billion from $2.150 billion in November 2009.

Month-on-month, November exports of electronic products fell 21.9 percent. Japan, the People's Republic of China, and the US were the Philippines' top export markets.

In a separate statement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said FDI yielded net outflows of $23 million in October because of the $53 million net outflows in the other capital account.

FDI pertains to money invested by foreigners in the Philippines for establishing new businesses or expanding existing ones, and as such generates employment.

Despite the reversal in October, the country still enjoyed net FDI inflows of $1.1 billion in the first 10 months of 2010, but were 36.5 percent lower than the $1.7 billion in the same period in 2009.

For 2010, the central bank had forecast full-year net inflows of $2 billion.


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ASEAN  ANALYSIS

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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