Just a few years ago, the Philippines was dubbed as “the sick man of Asia.” Today, it is a regional star, with its stellar economic performance at 6.6% in 2012, coming second only to China’s 7.8%. Standard & Poor’s (S&P) elevated the country’s credit rating from “stable” to “positive,” and may, according to the Philippine Finance Minister, soon get an investment grade that will enable it to attract even more foreign direct investment (FDI). Likewise, the World Bank has for the third time upgraded the country’s growth forecast. Its stock market is one of the best performers in the region. According to HSBC estimates, if current trends hold up, the Philippines by 2050 can become the 16th largest economy in the world, a giant leap from its current ranking of 44th.
Private investments, especially in the retail industry, are creating major contributions to the country’s economic success, including the modest shopping mall. Shopping malls are proliferating in towns and cities far beyond Metro Manila. According to data provided by the Philippine Retailers Association, shopping malls account for about 15% of the country’s GNP and 33% of the entire services sector. They employ about 18% of the Philippine labor force, translating into about 5.25 million employed Filipinos. Continue reading