PH one of the best performers in Asia: ANZ Bank

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 06 2012 06:11 PM | Updated as of Aug 07 2012 03:53 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines is seen as one of the best performers in Asia, according to the chief economist of Australia-based ANZ Bank.

In an interview with ANC's Coco Alcuaz, ANZ's chief economist for Asia Pacific Paul Gruenwald said the Philippine economy is "quite in a sweet spot."

"We're quite positive on the Philippines. I just got back from a trip to New York. Investors are interested. We see an economy that is quite in a sweet spot. We've got (Philippine) growth very strong at 5-6% and inflation under control," he said.

Gruenwald cited the Aquino government's efforts to improve public finances and expenditures, as well as the booming business process outsourcing industry.

"(The Philippines) has two structural developments, which are quite positive. The Aquino government is very keen on improving public finances and we've seen a good deal of expenditure restraint and a bigger improvement in the government balances," he said.

"Second is the BPOs, business process outsourcing, which seem to be providing a good spark for the domestic economy. So when you put them all together,we see the Philippines as one of the best performers in Asia."

However, the Philippines is not entirely insulated from any fallout from the euro zone debt crisis and a slowing global economy.

Gruenwald said the Philippines won't be as less vulnerable as Indonesia and India, which are domestic-driven economies.

But the country may be stronger than the more open economies of Singapore and Hong Kong.

"The Philippines is kind of in the middle of the pack. It's certainly important to see the euro debt crisis resolved. Europe is Asia's biggest trading partner, it's an even bigger trading partner than the US," the economist said. With ANC