Economic Outlook for the Philippines 2019

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (17 January 2019) -- The German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI) held its first event of the year on the 17th of January at the German Club Manila. Over 80 guests came to the forum to listen to an Economic Outlook for the Philippines in 2019.

The event began with GPCCI President, Mr. Tristan Arwen “Bobbit” Loveres, welcoming guests and introducing the new GPCCI Executive Director, Dr. Martin Henkelmann. Dr. Henkelmann then announced the upcoming events of GPCCI, one of which is the bi-annual Mabuhay Germany which is happening again on the 25th and 26th of May. New initiatives and event formats were also mentioned such as the Member to Member Benefits Program and the new Membership Card.

Dr. Henkelmann then gave the floor over to the German Embassy, represented by Ms. Katharina Bandelow, to introduce the speaker for the event, Mr. Rafael Garchitorena, Managing Director and Strategist at Deutsche Regis Partners Inc. This year, Mr. Garchitorena discussed economic predictions and the upcoming effect of the 2019 elections on the Philippine economy.

He started off by reporting that the Philippine Stock Exchange Index is off to a running start in the first few weeks of 2019, recovering from a rough 2018. Recent events have also influenced the Philippine Market. According to Mr. Garchitorena, the Philippine Peso is on a rebound, now at the middle of the pack among major Asian Currencies. Although inflation peaked at the last few months of the year, it went down sharply in December in time for the holidays. Furthermore, the trade deficit is seeing a positive growth with imports up by 16%.

Mr. Garchitorena also stated that current tax legislation may affect the “Build, Build, Build” initiative by President Rodrigo Duterte. This may disturb the infrastructure sector, but there is still traction in that area due to the upcoming 2019 elections.

The prediction for 2019 is that the growth of the Philippine GDP shows signs of decelerating but as it is an election year the numbers is still open to change due to the upcoming boost from election spending. The current state of the market for the first few weeks of the year have been very positive and though the growth of the Philippine GDP is slowing down it is still one of the fastest growing in Asia.

Much like last year, Mr. Garchitorena ended his presentation with an outlook of the different sectors and long-term trends in the country. Following this, the audience were able to ask questions. There were interesting issues pointed out including the TRAIN 2 law and its effect on foreign investments, the trend in the Philippine Peso exchange, and even the Hanjin bankruptcy was touched upon. It was a lively discussion and dynamic exchange between Mr. Garchitorena and the audience.

To close, Mr. Tobias Rast, President of the German Club, presented a token of appreciation to Mr. Garchitorena and thanked him for his informative discussion.

The German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry would like to thank Mr. Garchitorena for sharing his knowledge with the Chamber and the attendees of the Forum. We appreciate his contribution and hope to welcome him again in future events!