After the pleasures of family reunions during the five-day holiday break, it’s back to the salt mine for us working force.
The dawning of the new year 2020 renewed aspirations following the stream of negativity that came our way in 2019. The dust of the year past that blurred our vision has yet to settle down.
On the international front, the US-China trade war, remains a big concern despite an initial soon-to-be-signed phase-one deal announced by President Donald Trump. The US leader announced he “will be going to Beijing” to discuss the second phase, which will resolve the $300 billion worth of tariff imposed on Chinese goods.
Philippine National Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Wick Veloso is apprehensive despite this latest development. His cautious stance is understandable; until a deal is actually signed, there might be a reversal.
This would drag down the growth of the world economy, including the Philippines, as China is one of the country’s largest trading partners.
Mr. Wick shared the view of international market observers that uncertainty continues to face the economies this year. “The non-resolution of the trade war between the two giants remains a concern. It will slow down demand and correspondingly Philippine economic performance will suffer.”
Additionally, the six-month Hong Kong democracy protest continues. He says the protracted situation could put additional pressure on the Mainland. Hong Kong may no longer be Asia’s “financial hub. “The capital could move to Shanghai or Singapore. Between the two, Singapore appears to be the focus,” said Mr. Wick, who spent more than three years of his banking career in the former British Crown Colony.
While the conditions outside could exert pressure on the Philippines’ performance, the strong macroeconomic fundamentals – inflation at bay, low interest rate regime, a relatively stable peso-dollar rate – may help shield the domestic economy from narrowing.
Watchful and mindful of any severe effects if the US-China trade war remains unresolved, the potential for the domestic economy to excel is on the horizon.
Heightened government spending in pursuit of the “Build, Build, Build” program, the cornerstone of the Duterte administration, could be the impetus to spur improved economic activities.
Showers greeted us on the first day of the year. I took them to mean: A blessing and a cleansing process to clear our vision. As eye doctors tell us, 20/20 is the perfect vision. It’s the most desired vision.
The wheels of time have ushered in a new decade with this new year 2020. This corner will be watchful that in the corridors of power and the business community, this sharpness and clarity of vision will guide us through this year’s journey.
Talkback to me at [email protected]