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World Bank sees strong prospects in PH, Vietnam

The World Bank has identified the Philippines and Vietnam – among large economies in the developing East Asia and Pacific – to have strong prospects in terms of expanding their respective economies.

During the launching of its East Asia and Pacific Economic Update in Singapore on Wednesday, gross domestic product (GDP) forecast for the Philippines and Vietnam for 2016 to 2018 are above the projections for the entire region.

GDP growth forecast for East Asia and Pacific for this year is at 5.8 percent and at 5.7 percent for the next two years.

In a video conference on Wednesday, World Bank Chief Economist for East Asia and Pacific Sudhir Shetty said the region remains resilient despite facing a mixed external environment such as generally sluggish growth of advanced economies and the subdued growth of emerging markets and developing economies.

Among ASEAN-5, GDP growth projection for the Philippines this year is the highest at 6.4 percent compared to Vietnam’s forecast of 6.0 percent, Indonesia at 5.1 percent, Malaysia at 4.2 percent, and Thailand at 3.1 percent.

“In the Philippines, growth will likely accelerate to 6.4 percent in 2016, reflecting fiscal stimulus, rising public investment, and strong growth in services (business process outsourcing),” the report noted.

In the next two years, Vietnam’s growth is seen to slightly overtake Philippines’ economic expansion, with the former’s rising consumer demand and credit as exporters are expected to further gain from the free trade agreement with the European Union. World Bank’s growth projection for the Philippines and Vietnam in the next two years is at 6.2 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively. (PNA)