Security Bank hosted its second Economic Forum with a look into the future of the Philippine healthcare industry and the economy.
Following the success of its economic forum with Department of Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez in August, the second leg of the series featured three industry experts who provided an in-depth discussion of global trends and latest economic and healthcare forecasts.
Starting the forum was Leong Sook Mei, ASEAN Head of Global Markets Research at MUFG Bank, Ltd. Leong shared her regional economic outlook where she discussed different geopolitical events affecting the economies in Asia and the US.
“The new realities of US-China relations and COVID-19 have forced Asian governments to shape up. Relatively strong governments in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines have seized upon their dominant parliamentary presence to initiate changes in their FDI laws or introduce incentives to attract investors,” said Leong.
Leong also shared her views on 2021 polls in Japan, possible changes to US policy in Asia under a Biden administration, and prospects of economic recovery for the region in light of positive news surrounding COVID-19 vaccine development.
“With vaccines in the backdrop, the economic activities will not fall to the depths of the first wave despite restrictions imposed to fight the renewed outbreak. 2020 would probably be a year of fiscal consolidation in Asia, as the expectation is for vaccine development, better GDP growth, and increased collection of government revenues,” Leong added.
Meanwhile, Security Bank’s EVP and Treasurer Raul Martin Pedro discussed market trends and outlook in light of the pandemic, recapped the banking sector’s initiatives since the pandemic started, and provided economic prospects for the remainder of 2020.
“The US Market and news on developments surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine are key market movers in the country. As recovery and vaccine optimism fades in the short term, we saw spreads in dollar-denominated fixed income (ROPs) widen again but already hold at the tightest levels since the pandemic started. This may indicate significantly better confidence in Asia’s credit space”, said Pedro.
Security Bank also projects a 7.1% GDP growth by 2021 due to base effect and faster recovery trajectory on the back of a vaccine.
Closing the forum was Congresswoman and 2nd district of Marikina Representative, Stella Quimbo who laid down the key learnings of the Philippines as the healthcare industry battled the COVID-19 pandemic. She also gave her thoughts on the stabilization of the Philippines’ healthcare industry and discussed how healthcare industry players could better equip themselves from 2020 and beyond.
“We expect a deeper contraction this year than initially projected. I hope that the insights we ‘ve gained from this global health crisis will help us redefine the future of our healthcare system going forward,” said Quimbo.
Each year, Security Bank organizes a forum to provide its clients and business partners with insights straight from the experts as an effort to assist them in making better business and financial decisions.
“Conversations on healthcare would be and should be at the forefront of this global battle. We hope that Security Bank’s forum today will equip leaders and key players like yourself with actionable insights to help them realign business strategies to the economic realities brought by the pandemic. Security Bank is with you in striving to overcome this pandemic and adapting to the new normal. We are hopeful that it will get better,” said Sanjiv Vohra, Security Bank president and CEO.
The event was moderated by veteran financial journalist Michelle Ong of the ABS-CBN News Channel and was participated by over 500 attendees including Security Bank’s clients and stakeholders.
in photo: Security Bank Executive Vice President and Treasurer, Raul Martin Pedro shares the banks insights on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic into the Philippine Economy.