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DTI Secretary Optimistic Of Economic Growth In Q2

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) forecasted that the economy may begin posting positive growth in the second quarter should it prevent a new wave of COVID-19 cases.

According to Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez in an interview with CNN Philippines, he expects positive growth to take place and to start this second quarter and into the third and fourth quarter.

Lopez cited improving economic indicators such as exports which were up 29.8 percent year-on-year in May, manufacturing activity which ended a two-month losing streak and returned to positive territory in June, and the triple-digit year-on-year growth in foreign direct investments in April.

He acknowledged, however, that it’s very critical that the country doesn’t experience another surge in COVID-19 cases. The threat of the Delta variant may hinder the gradual positive growth of the country as of late. The trade secretary hopes that the Delta variant cases won’t surge in the country as much as it did in the neighboring nations. 

Despite the rollout of vaccines, he said the government has been very careful in reopening the economy to avoid seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases.  He added that he expects the country to reach her immunity by year-end. The vaccination should also give greater confidence to the investment sector too now that the Philippines is well on its way to recovery. 

Lopez also noted that the government continues to implement programs to encourage investments and improve the ease of doing business in the country. In addition, the government has put in place the central business portal or the one-stop-shop for business registration, as well as TradeNet for the online processing of import and export permits.

The government is aiming for a six to seven percent GDP growth this year. Last year, the economy shrank by 9.6 percent, the country’s worst performance since the end of World War II.


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