Asia Business Channel

Philippine Business Leaders are Among the World’s most Bullish

Business leaders in the Philippines are among the world’s most optimistic about the economy’s overall outlook, according to a quarterly survey which Grant Thornton, an international advisory service provider conducted across 36 countries in the May ~ June 2017 period.

Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR) showed that business leaders in the Philippines had an overall optimism (total optimistic less total pessimistic) rate of 86% in 2017’s fourth quarter, 6% more than the 80% rate in 2016’s final quarter. 2017 saw an 88% overall optimism in the Philippines that was the best reading since 2014’s 90% and the country’s best reading on record, so far, was logged at 98% in the first three months of 2017.

The Philippines ranked behind Indonesia, but its optimism was far higher than the 58% average for Asia Pacific, which is itself, the region’s “historic high”. According to a statement by Grant Thornton, “In the Philippines, overall optimism among business leaders remains high, and the results of the survey show that businesses are very confident about the economy,”

Grant Thornton also said, “The recent passage of the first tranche of tax reforms in the Philippines is expected to support public spending and investments in infrastructure and social services which, in turn, will create more opportunities for businesses.” The report also noted the following:

• The Philippines topped the rest of the Asia-Pacific region in terms of expectations for increases in revenue during 2018

• The country placed second in terms of planned increase in investment in plants and machinery

• The Philippines placed third in terms of expectations of an increase in the next 12 months in investment in new buildings; research and development and investment in technology.

In terms of growth measures planned for 2018, survey respondents said:

• 50% will improve sales force effectiveness
• 48% plan to develop and/or launch a new products or services
• 40% will invest more in advertising, marketing and public relations activities
• 40% of companies plan to expand their business in the Philippines
• 34% plan to provide incentives for productivity improvement
• 24% will tap new funding sources
• 14% will recruit specialist talent
• 8% will expand business overseas
• 8% will merge with or acquire another business

In the Asia-Pacific region, optimism among businesses reached 58%, an increase of 17% over the third quarter of 2017. According to Grant Thornton,

“Confidence has boomed in Asia Pacific, reaching its highest peak in the history of the IBR. While China has experienced growing levels of optimism over the past year or so, Japan’s break into positive territory is a real sign of change in the region. As global trade improves, firms in Japan and China are also thinking about the future and investing in long-term growth.”

Grant Thornton also noted that, “The positive business sentiment in the region is an opportunity that Philippines businesses must consider as they plan for their long-term expansion and growth plans outside the Philippines.”
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