Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Ponciano Manalo, Jr. credited the young 100M-strong Philippine population and good governance and transparency for the Philippines’ sustained economic growth. The Philippines, which posted a growth rate of 7.2 percent in 2013 has emerged as Asia’s second fastest growing economy after China at a time when emerging markets are struggling with slowing growth and capital outflows. This year, the economy is expected to grow by 6.5 percent.

Speaking at the recent Philippine Infrastructure and Public-Private Partnership Projects (PPP) roadshow in Singapore, Undersecretary Manalo said that the large number of young, dependable, hardworking, resilient, highly-skilled, English-speaking Filipinos is the Philippines’ greatest asset for long-term economic growth prospects. According to global credit watcher Moody’s Investor Service, the Philippines is one of 23 countries classified as “not aging”, giving the country optimum status in demographic terms.

Undersecretary Manalo added that good governance and anti-corruption measures have positively shaped the Philippine economy, helping build investor trust and driving the country’s global competitiveness. In the Corruption Percentage Index by Transparency National, the Philippines’ ranking improved from the 105th place to 94th place. Meanwhile, World Bank’s “Doing Business” report saw the country jump 30 places, from 138th to 108th in a span of just one year.

Undersecretary Manalo also highlighted the continuous inflow of remittances, renewed global demand for local products, and steady export growth as factors to the growing economy. He said that Philippines has become a preferred investment destination because of the country’s strategic business location, robust infrastructure, first-class lifestyle and competitive investment incentives.

Singapore-based British companies who attended the forum were invited to invest in the Philippines infrastructure and PPP projects. Other speakers were Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson, Transportation and Communication Undersecretary Rene Limcaoco and PPP Center executive director Cosette Canilao. A business delegation joined the roadshow as well, led by Philippines-British Business Council co-chair Ambassador Jesus Tambunting, with representatives from Aboitiz, Ayala, HSBC, SGV and Shell. The PPP has over 50 projects in the pipeline such as airports, rails, water facilities which are ready to be rolled out in the next 12 months.

Undersecretary Manalo separately met with the British Chamber of Commerce-Singapore and invited the BritCham to send a trade mission to the Philippines.