The Philippines economy is driving growth in the Asia Pacific and will continue to expand by more than 6% a year until the end of the decade, according to an assessment from the World Bank.
The economy is charging ahead of developed economies in North America, Europe and Japan.
After posting 5.8% growth last year, the Philippines is on track to hit 6.8% this year, falling back to 6.2% in 2017 and 2018.
The only Asia Pacific economy competing on the same footing is Vietnam, which is likely to post similar results to The Philippines, says the world Bank.
In comparison, the bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects report forecasts the world economy growing at just 2.4% – a reduction from the 2.9% predicted earlier this year.
Internal demand driving economy
The report blames stuttering economic growth on developed economies failing to pull out of recession fast enough and low commodity prices hitting emerging economies.
Nations in Sub-Sahara Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean rely on profits from mining and producing these resources but are suffering as prices are only just rallying after four years of rout.
The World Bank says investment in infrastructure and strong domestic demand are the forces behind GDP growth in The Philippines.
This strong internal market insulates growth in The Philippines from economic problems overseas.
Cheap stop over for expats
Unlike other countries with economies built on manufacture and export, the local economy is dependent on local demand and less influenced by external factors.
The Philippines is made up of more than 7,000 islands spread across the Pacific Ocean and South China Sea. With more than 100 million people, the country is the 12th most populous in the world – and The Philippines also has the fastest growing population in the Asia Pacific.
The country is a popular stopover for expats working in mining, oil and gas in the region.
Besides the tropical weather, the main attraction is the low cost of living compared to many other places in the region.
Other benefits for expats include political stability and a cheap and effective health service.