Economist Villegas Predicts Sunrise Industry after Pandemic
LEADING economist Dr. Bernardo Villegas said the Philippines will be one of the countries that can recover faster from the impact of the pandemic, citing the health sector as an area for growth.
“The Philippines will be one of the least negatively affected in a global recession,” Dr. Villegas said at the “Prospects for the Philippine Economy in 2020 and Beyond” webinar sponsored by Allianz PNB Life.
Allianz, a global insurer, has been sponsoring talks about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on life and business. Prior to Dr. Villegas’ talk, Allianz PNB Life sponsored a webinar on the pandemic’s impact on the universal healthcare system with Reach52 founder and CEO Edward Booty.
In Dr. Villegas’ talk, he pointed out that considering the health concerns that have been raised during the pandemic, “anything related to health — curative or preventive” will be given a higher priority.
This includes opportunities for the insurance industry that provides security through various health insurance products covering medical expenses and even preventive medicine as well as life insurance with accident and death benefits.
Along with the health sector, agribusiness is likewise seen as the country’s leading sunrise industry post-pandemic. Opportunities are also seen for the digital industry and education.
There are some sectors, however, that will experience difficulty in recovering. Dr. Villegas said these include the travel and tourism industry, fashion, furnishings, and non-digital entertainment.
“Anything considered luxurious will take a back seat,” he said.
However, domestic travel might be able to bounce back.
Dr. Villegas likewise said that “greater emphasis” should be given to areas that can be the next Metro Manila. These include Batangas, Central Luzon, and Iloilo.
If the country will not experience a second wave of the pandemic, Dr. Villegas projects a 2.7 percent growth rate for the economy.
Opportunities for the Philippine economy are spurred by our young and growing English-speaking population against the aging labor force and demographic crisis in developed countries; re-balancing between China and other Asian economies like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and our ASEAN neighbors; heavy government spending on infrastructure; and foreign direct investment from China to Southeast Asia, among others. (ASEAN is Association of Southeast Asian Nations.)
“By 2021, we can be back to our 6 to 7 percent trajectory,” Dr. Villegas said. (Allianz PNB Life)
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About Allianz in Asia
Asia is one of the core growth regions for Allianz, characterized by a rich diversity of cultures, languages and customs. Allianz has been present in the region since 1910, when it first provided fire and marine insurance in the coastal cities of China.
Today, Allianz is active in 14 markets in the region, offering its core businesses of property and casualty insurance, life, protection and health solutions, as well as asset management. With its more than 32,000 staff, Allianz serves the needs of over 18 million customers in the region across multiple distribution channels and digital platforms.