Today is: Wed, May 22, 2013
The Philippine economy has made a quick recovery from the recent global recession with GDP sharply rebounding to 7.9% in first semester of 2010 from 0.9% over the same period in 2009. Growth was buoyed by strong recovery in exports, robust domestic consumption driven by overseas remittances and election-related spending, and growth in the services sector led by the outsourcing and construction sectors. Sound macroeconomic fundamentals contributed to the resiliency of the Philippine economy. Inflation remains under control at below four percent. Banking system is stable. The country’s balance of payments surplus continues to expand while its international foreign exchange reserves reached new record highs. Increasing consumer and investor confidence has been restored partly due a new administration with strong popular support and a strong commitment to good governance and economic reform.
Regardless of this recent favorable performance, the Philippine economy continues to lag behind the success of its East Asian neighbors and there is much to be done to sustain and expand impact of development efforts. USAID’s economic growth activities promote trade and investment, greater competition, increased transparency, improved fiscal policy and management, infrastructure development, agricultural productivity, and microfinance.
Economic Reforms: USAID supports economic reform efforts that focus on sustaining good fiscal sector performance, and removing barriers to investment and competition. Technical assistance focuses on priority areas such as: reforming policies, regulations, and administrative practices affecting international trade and investment; reducing the cost of doing business, lowering barriers to entry and improving overall competitiveness. USAID supports civil society engagement and participation to improve the transparency of the national budget process and assist national government efforts to improve its revenue performance.
USAID continues to provide support national and local government efforts to improve the business environment by reducing the processing time, steps, and cost in obtaining a business permit for new and existing businesses. USG assists targetted cities nationwide establish minimum standards in processing of permits and licenses including one-time payment and assessment and the use of a single application form. USAID is also assisting the streamlining of the the administrative process in obtaining title for residential property. This brings more land into the formal market, reduces transactions cost associated with land transactions and improves access to credit with the increased availability of land-based collateral.
Infrastructure Development, Agriculture and Microfinance: USAID promotes the economic development of Mindanao through infrastructure projects (ports, roads, warehouses, community centers, boat landings, water systems and trading centers) and improved agribusiness competitiveness and the expanded export of targeted commodities, particularly fruits, vegetables and marine products. In agriculture, USAID is funding research to promote new technologies that will safeguard the local food supply and increase farmers’ incomes. In microfinance, USAID is helping over 100 banks profitably provide loans and deposit services for small entrepreneurs using microfinance best practices and innovative technologies such as mobile phones.
USAID is also partnering with the Philippine public and private sectors to improve the country’s infrastructure including road networks, air transport, air and sea ports, and the inter-island shipping network in an effort to lower logistics costs that inhibit trade and commerce Through support for public-private partnerships, USAID is helping promote private sector investment in key national infrastructure projects and in economic growth hubs such as Subic and Clark.
Chief, Office of Economic Development and Governance
Tel. No. 301-6000; Fax No. 301-6213
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