Bernardo M. Villegas
  Page last updated at 07:01 CST6CDT, Wednesday, 17 March 2021 PH
Philippines Will Win Economic Marathon (Part 1 & 2)
           Independent think tanks and financial institutions from abroad rate the Philippine economy as the worst hit in 2020 and is expected to be the slowest to recover in 2021 among the countries in Asia.  The average estimate of the GDP decline expected of the Philippine economy for the year just ended is anywhere from a negative 8.5 to 9.5 per cent for the whole year.  The prospects for 2021 are not much brighter.  My most optimistic growth projection for the whole year of 2021 is 4 percent, which will still keep the Philippine GDP below its pre-pandemic level until the last quarter of 2022.   Because the Philippine Government has been the least effective in controlling the negative impact of COVID-19 on the economy among the Asian economies, it will surely lose the short-distance race or economic sprint to its neighbors.  The good news, however, is that the Philippine economy will be one of the sure winners in the economic marathon if we consider a two to three-year horizon.  By 2022, the Philippine GDP growth will be one of the highest growing at anywhere from 8 to 10 percent annually.  Already, a London-based think tank—the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR)—has forecasted that among 193 countries, the Philippines will become the 22nd largest economy within the next fifteen years.  This is consistent with another long-term projection the HongKong Shanghai Bank made more than 15 years ago that by 2050, the Philippine economy will be the 16th largest economy in the world.