Philippines

92% of CEOs in PH positive about local business conditions

92% of CEOs in PH positive about local business conditions
By Kris Crismundo

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — Top executives across the country remain optimistic about prevailing business conditions, as indicated by the Oxford Business Group (OBG) Business Barometer: Philippines CEO Survey for 2018.

The report revealed that 92 percent of 130 surveyed C-suite executives have positive or very positive expectations of local business conditions in the next 12 months.

OBG Regional Editor for Asia Patrick Cooke said the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth of above 6 percent for six consecutive years have helped to generate positive sentiment among executives.

The OBG survey result noted that with the optimism of executives in the Philippine market, 74 percent of the business officials said their firms will likely or very likely make a significant capital investment in the next 12 months.

However, executives have split opinion on Duterte administration’s push for federalism, as 43 percent of them said that a switch to federalism would be advantageous or very advantageous to economic development.

Still, this is slightly higher than the 40 percent of executives who said that federalism would be disadvantageous or very disadvantageous to the country’s economic development.

On the other hand, about 71 percent of the surveyed C-Suite executives said the country’s current tax environment is uncompetitive or very uncompetitive.

“The negative sentiment comes as the government presses ahead with the multiphase Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN), with the second package currently under debate in Congress,” the OBG report noted.

“That is not to say the Philippines is without challenges: chronic income inequality and underemployment, rising inflation and a ballooning current account deficit pose both long- and short-term risks,” Cooke commented.

He mentioned that despite these negative sentiments, there are reasons to be optimistic, not the least of which is the fact that the Philippines posted the fastest economic growth in Asia and the government’s aggressive spending on infrastructure.

“Nevertheless, there are more than enough reasons to be optimistic, as one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies embarks on a USD36 billion infrastructure drive that should address many of its existing productivity bottlenecks,” said Cooke. (PNA)

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