PH no longer sick man of Asia: BPI chief


Posted at May 14 2012 01:43 PM | Updated as of May 14 2012 11:55 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines is no longer the "sick man of Asia," Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) president and chief executive officer Aurelio Montinola III declared in his speech before the Economic Club of Memphis last May 9.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the Harvard-educated banker was the club's guest speaker, as part of the activities of the ongoing Memphis in May Festival which is honoring the Philippines.

While he cited the challenges facing the world economy such as high oil, threat of double-dip recession and euro zone contagion, Montinola is optimistic about the growth prospects in Southeast Asia.

The BPI chief highlighted the gains achieved by the Philippines under President Benigno Aquino, saying the country "is no longer considered the sick man of Asia."

He cited the Aquino government's good governance agenda, which has led to the Philippines' improved political and fiscal position. For instance, the Philippines is now a net creditor of the International Monetary Fund.

Montinola urged invstors to invest in the Philippines, citing the country's edge in English proficiency, strong local currency and competitive borrowing rates. He said the focus of the Aquino government is agriculture, infrastructure and tourism.