NEDA Sees New Investments to Drive Economic Growth

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Byline: EDU H. LOPEZ

The government is optimistic that the Philippine economy will further accelerate driven by greater investment, improved infrastructure, new opportunities in specific industry sectors and improved conditions in the agriculture industry.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) director general Augusto B. Santos stressed the strength of the countrys economic fundamentals, notably the countrys performance in 2004, when the economy grew by 6.1 percentthe strongest in 15 years.

"In the first quarter of 2005, the Philippines recorded a remarkable 4.6 percent growthhigher than that of other oil importing ASEAN countries," he said.

Santos said the lynchpin sectors of consumption, services, and overseas Filipino workers have continued to deliver steady growth in spite of a challenging international economic development.

"Our long-term growth prospects will benefit from its extensive fiscal reforms," he added.

Although the economic team is new, Santos said that they will continue to implement the programs already laid out in the 2004-2010 Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP).

He said that NEDA, for its part, will play its role in achieving the governments economic policy imperatives that include a stable and sustainable macroeconomic fundamentals, restructuring and reforming the power and finance sectors, and boosting investment, exports and employment.

"Equally important is NEDAs commitment to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, the most important of which is the commitment to halving poverty by 2015," said Santos. …