Int'l economist: Philippines is definitely on track to first world status - The Daily Sentry

Int'l economist: Philippines is definitely on track to first world status

combined photo of President Rodrigo Duterte from Asian Policy and Professor at the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) Bernardo Villegas, photo screen-capped from

Manila, Philippines – The country’s economic growth story is expected to match with the so-called Asian Century in the next 20 years, which would see the rise of countries like China, India, and the ASEAN Economic Community – this according to a prominent economist.

Economist at the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) Bernardo Villegas said that Philippines is not depending so much now with Western countries.

Villegas said, the country’s growing per capita GDP — now placed at $3,016.7 in 2016 from $2,855.2 — is a very much indication of great possibilities and in good condition to rise from a lower middle-income economy to an upper middle-income country in the next years to come, along with Russia, China, Malaysia, and South Africa.

“We are definitely on the way in the next 20 years to first world status,” he said in an economic briefing last Monday.

Villegas cited the HSBC’s The Wider World in 2050 study, noting that the country is expected to the the 16th largest economy in the world by 2050.

Furthermore, the economist also said that several industries are also expected to challenge widespread fears of automation, which includes business process outsourcing-information technology (BPO-IT), infrastructure, domestic tourism, agriculture and also manufacturing.

“All fears of automation are unfounded,” Villegas said, referring to apprehensions of some that BPO-IT related jobs would soon be lost because of emerging automation technologies.

“Even if exports growth is down, consumption will be strong because we can target our own people,” said Villegas.

“It is also Filipinos that are the patrons of the domestic tourism industry.” He added.

Villegas said that Philippines agricultural sector is a potential powerhouse industry.*

Duterte administration has been in full swing of supporting the agri department, as also reported by DA Secretary Manny Pinol.

Villegas added that Philippine farming sector is in a position to cash in on the large demand for food in neighboring Asian countries like Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Thus, Villegas suggested that the government should abandon its quest to be self-sufficient in rice, which according to him, is not having progress.

Meanwhile, the manufacturing sector can benefit from the increasing interest from Taiwan and Japan, to find alternative production hubs within the Southeast Asian part.

“Manufacturing is a positive sign because China is no longer attracting manufacturers,” said Villegas.

Other than these sectors, Villegas also considers potential sunrise in the following; mining, transportation, telecommunications, automobiles, consumer durables, logistics and retailing, healthcare and medical tourism, education, food, fashion, furniture and entertainment.

chart showing the increasing GDP of the Philippines 

 Source: Philstar