Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the country’s strong and solid macroeconomic fundamentals and the government’s fiscal reforms enabled the Philippines to top the list of 20 best countries to invest in this year by American financial and business news website Business Insider.
The Philippines outranked a number of advanced economies in the world such as France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Australia and Singapore in the list.
Dominguez said in a statement among the reasons the Philippines was chosen as number one on the list “could be the young and hardworking workforce, an excellent inclusive growth momentum and expanding middle class and politically stable environment.”
Dominguez, the Duterte administration’s leader of economic managers, also mentioned the strong and popular leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte, fiscal discipline, stable monetary policy, the country’s active membership in Asean, an achievable infrastructure program, strong anti-corruption drive and improved revenue collection.
“It is a result of teamwork,” Dominguez said.
Business Insider said in an article that to qualify as a country worthy of investment, certain standards should be met, citing a World Bank Group report highlighting four factors: the country’s people, environment, relationships and framework that propel both individuals and corporations to invest in a given country’s natural resources, markets, technologies or brands.
“Guided by the report from the World Bank Group, US News identified the best countries to invest in for 2018,” the news website said.
“Last month, US News released their 2018 Best Countries ranking. To determine the overall list, US News surveyed over 21,000 people worldwide about 80 different countries, measuring them on 65 different attributes, including cultural influence, entrepreneurship and quality of life,” it said.
It said US News focused on just eight of the 65 attributes: entrepreneurship, economic stability, favorable tax environment, innovation, skilled labor, technological expertise, dynamism and corruption.
It said responses from over 6,000 survey participants―who act as decision makers in business around the globe―were then used to determine the ranking.
Indonesia came in the second place, followed by Poland, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Spain, Thailand, India, Oman, Czech Republic, Finland, Uruguay, Turkey, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Brazil, France and Chile.
The Philippines has a population of 103.3 million and gross domestic product of $304.9 billion.
The Duterte administration’s ambitious P8.4-trillion ‘Build, Build, Build’ program is expected to create more jobs and spur economic growth in the years ahead. The massive infrastructure program aims to build more bridges, roads, railways, airports, seaports, water and irrigation projects.
Also included is the construction of a 24-kilometer subway that will traverse the busy districts of Metro Manila to decongest the metropolis of heavy traffic that was causing billions of pesos in economic losses daily.
President Duterte signed into law the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion in December. The law reduced personal income taxes but raised the excise taxes on automobile, tobacco, alcohol and even sugar-sweetened beverages.