Illustrative image (Photo: zdnet.com)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Philippines registered a high level of economic growth in 2017 and 2018, according to Secretary of Department of Budget and Management Benjamin Diokno.

The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 6.7 percent in 2017 and is projected to expand at least 6.5 percent in 2018, the official said.

He attributed the high economic growth to the country’s strong investment in infrastructure through the “Build Build Build” programme.

The programme is expected to usher in the Golden Age of Infrastructure in the Philippines. The Philippine government said in 2017 that it will spend 8 trillion to 9 trillion pesos, or roughly 160 billion to 180 billion USD in six years in the programme.

In 2017 and 2018, he said, the growth of the industry sector even outpaced overall GDP growth, at an average rate of 7 percent.

This is crucial for the Philippine economy to achieve its poverty reduction goals, Diokno said, adding the industry sector is a potential source of high-paying jobs.

Meanwhile, Diokno also recognised that the administration needs to improve its performance in the agricultural sector. If the agricultural sector expands by 4 percent, the economic growth target of 7 to 8 percent is very much attainable, he said.

The World Bank (WB) said it has downgraded its growth projections for the Philippines to 6.4 percent in 2018 and 6.5 percent in 2019 to reflect recent economic trends.
These new figures are slight revisions of the bank’s growth projections of 6.5 percent for 2018 and 6.7 percent for 2019, released through the Philippines Economic Update in October.-VNA