In the past decade, the Philippines has experienced massive and sustained economic growth founded on sound macroeconomic fundamentals. It is no longer referred to as “the sick man of East Asia”, but as “the Rising Tiger”. Strategically located in the ASEAN region, the Philippines has emerged as one of the fastest growing economies in Asia as it evolves from an agricultural based to an industry and manufacturing focused economy. In the 1970’s, the country has adopted the “openness model” of development like many other developing countries in the region. Closer global economic integration through liberalization, deregulation and privatization was given emphasis under this development model. It is also viewed as a perfect example of a “mixed economy”, a capitalist economy characterized by the predominance of privately owned enterprise and the accumulation of capital as its fundamental driving force. The Philippine is now considered as a newly industrialized country that has successfully transformed from agriculture to service dominant and manufacturing based economy. It has developed into a vibrant regional manufacturing competitor complimented by strong domestic consumption and export markets. Exports have been one of the primary revenue drivers for the Philippines, with the electronics and semiconductor manufacturing services accounting for around 51 percent of the export revenues. The Philippines has opened up its economy and built an extensive network of free trade agreements with various countries to promote free trade and investment flows. With the sound and improving fiscal situation of the government, its target is to focus more on technology, research and development, and innovation to sustain the continued economic growth.
For the past five years, the Philippines have attained an average Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Growth Rate of six to seven percent and is projected to continue to do in 2018. The country posted an average of 3.72 percent GDP Annual Growth Rate from 1982 until the economy has picked up pace in 2017. As shown on Table 3 below, in the first three quarters of 2017, the GDP growth rate rapidly expanding by 6.7 percent due to increased foreign investment and robust consumption. In 2018, both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank expect the Philippines’ GDP to grow slightly faster, between 6.7 and 6.8 percent, compared with its earlier projections of 6.6 percent. However, the Philippines had a 6.5-7.5 percent growth target last year and aims to attain 7-8 percent this 2018.