DTI exec sees 7% growth for PHL in 2014 (GMA News Online)

The economy could grow by as much as 7 percent this year due to a growth in exports, the faster implementation of infrastructure development, and rehabilitation efforts in areas hit by Typhoon Yolanda, a top official at the Department of Trade and Industry said last week.

"I think we are on the high six to seven [percent growth for 2014]," Trade Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal, Jr. told reporters at the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Comprehensive Investment Agreement Forum.

"With the peso behaving, our exporters can benefit from that," he added.

Cristobal also said that the department expects infrastructure development to "move faster," with some private-public partnership projects to be implemented this year.

Last week, President Benigno Aquino III led the launch of the P26-billion Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 Project, which will connect the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and South Luzon Expressway (NLEX) by 2017.

The forecast is higher than the International Monetary Fund's prediction of 6.3 percent growth for the Philippines this year.

The IMF last week revised its growth forecast for the Philippines from 6 percent to 6.3 percent, while cutting the outlook for ASEAN-5 – which groups Southeast Asia’s five largest economies, including the Philippines – to 5.1 percent from 5.4 percent.

At the same event, Bureau of Export Trade Promotion Director Senen Perlada told reporters that exports may rise 7 to 8 percent in 2014 from the $76 billion estimate in 2013.

"Drivers for merchandise [exports] are automotive electronics and consumer electronics, wood manufactures, fresh and processed fruits," he said. — BM, GMA News

Original source: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/345636/economy/business/dti-exec-sees-7-growth-for-phl-in-2014