Friday, May 3, 2013

A Breakout Nation


   "The strongest-performing economy in the Asia today is the Philippines," Michael Spencer, chief economist for Asia at Deutsche Bank AG, said in an interview with Bloomberg.

   According to Foreignpolicy.com “Indeed, the standard indictment of the economy still seems daunting. For one thing, the Philippines is startlingly dependent on alms from abroad. Roughly 11 million Philippine citizens (12 percent of the population) work in a great diaspora, running from Hong Kong to New York and Kuwait, sending home about $20 billion annually to support their families.” 

   The billions of dollars Filipinos abroad send to their families annually should not be called “alms”.  Filipinos send money out of love, responsibility and a cultural practice no foreign influence has managed to eradicate.  Where other countries kick their children out at eighteen, Filipinos support their kin, ascendants and descendants without age or cost limit.  The effect on the country’s economy is an accidental benefit.  

   “The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are so yesterday, says Morgan Stanley's Ruchir Sharma. Rapid growth can't be sustained and it's time to look to the next decade's big growers for big returns. Reuters Fred Katayama tells why Turkey, Indonesia and the Philippines are the next big bet.”

   If the indictment of the Philippines’ economy is that the country is dependent on overseas Filipinos’ dollar subsidy then the country’s index rating of 100 is a consequence of the tenacity of the Filipino labor wherever they might be.  Now called the call center capital of the world, the Philippines owes the title to the labor sector that makes the night their day and the day their night answering calls from all time zones.  

   Financial gurus are predicting a bright future for the investor that would bet on the dark horse of Asia, the Philippines.  They are right.  If all the countries should fall into the ocean the Philippines' labor sector, most of them women, will dive in and literally carry their country on their shoulders.  No thanks required. 

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POSTSCRIPT:


   Philippine economic rating posted 7.2% by the end of 2013 despite the devastation brought by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) which killed approximately 6,000.



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