Despite the record-high inflation rate and increases in prices of oil and other basic goods, President Rodrigo Duterte told his Asian counterparts that the country’s economy is on an “upward trajectory.”
“The indications are encouraging. For the Philippines, our economy is on an upward trajectory of growth,” Duterte said during the Leaders’ Gathering of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Bali, Indonesia.
The President, however, acknowledged that the region faces several challenges, especially on the economic front.
“Escalating trade tensions and protectionism threaten to undermine the gains we have achieved in the economic front…There are dark clouds looming on the horizon. They warn us of real challenges that we must face,” he said.
“We have no other option but to confront these challenges head-on. To do so, we must be prepared to invest in ourselves. We have to work together,” Duterte said.
Hours ahead of the Asean meeting, a powerful quake on Thursday rattled the island of Bali.
Aside from the Asean gathering, Bali is also hosting the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank this week, attended by more than 19,000 delegates and other guests including ministers, central bank heads and some leaders.
The magnitude-6 quake, located in the Bali Sea, killed three people in the neighboring Java island, damaging buildings and causing panic among residents.
Indonesia, one of the most disaster-prone nations on earth, straddles the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire” where tectonic plates collide and many of the world’s volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.