MANILA, Oct 2 (Mabuhay) — President Benigno S. Aquino III said the Asian Development Bank’s forecast of 7 percent growth this year, and 6.1 percent for next year is within reach.
“I think it’s achievable. Pero I would not want to say right now na guaranteed lahat ‘yan. There are factors beyond our control. Things that happen in the Middle East, for instance; the current government shutdown in America,” the President said when asked to comment on ADB’s raised forecast for the country.
The President was interviewed by reporters following his attendance to the Brotherhood of Christian Business and Professionals’ Grand Breakfast at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on Wednesday.
One of the major sources of optimism for the administration, he said, is the rebounding Japanese economy, a primary market for the Philippine’s export products.
“I will not state categorically a particular number but, we will continue to strive to make the GDP figure that much higher,” the President added.
A new ADB report said the Philippines will be the second fastest growing economy in Asia this year, next to China.
In the Asian Development Outlook 2013 update, the ADB raised its 2013 growth forecast for the Philippines to 7 percent, from its earlier forecast of 6 percent in April.
The ADB also upgraded its 2014 forecast for the Philippines to 6.1 percent from 5.9 percent.
The report noted that the Philippines has been growing faster than expected making it the only Southeast Asian country to have its growth forecast upgraded.
Contrary to the upgrade made on the Philippines, the ADB downgraded forecasts for other Southeast Asian countries, such as Indonesia (5.7 percent from 6.4 percent), Thailand (3.8 percent from 4.9 percent) and Malaysia (4.3 percent from 5.3 percent).
The ADB has not changed its forecasts for Singapore (2.6 percent) and Vietnam (5.2 percent). (MNS)