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Asia's Turning Point: An Introduction to Asia's Dynamic Economies at the Dawn of the New Century by Philippe Debroux, Ivan Tselichtchev

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15

Philippines: Speeding up at Last

A Few Basics

The Philippines is a large low-middle-income country. Its population reached 88.6 million according to the census of August 2007 (Reuters 2008). It was 122nd in the world, in terms of per-capita gross domestic product (GDP) (purchasing power parity (PPP)), in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ranking for the same year—below Indonesia and Kiribati and above Cape Verde and Mongolia. By nominal GDP it was 47th.

The Philippines is an archipelago of 7,107 islands. The major islands are Luzon in the north, the Visayas group in the center, and Mindanao in the south. Roman Catholics make up 85 percent of the population. The south is predominantly Muslim.

The country is divided into 81 provinces, 136 cities, 1,495 municipalities, and 41,995 barangays (the smallest administrative unit, a village or a district).

The Philippines is rich in natural resources—especially copper, nickel, chromite, and gold, but also silver, cobalt, oil, and coal. Big reserves of natural gas have been discovered at Malampaya field off Palawan island in the southwest and production started in 2001. The mining industry was boosted in 2004 when the operation of 100 percent foreign-owned companies was made possible.

In 2006, agriculture comprised 14.2 percent of GDP, industry 31.6 percent, and services 54.2 percent. The share of agriculture in the total number of persons employed was 33.0 percent, manufacturing 8.5 percent, mining 0.4 percent, and other sectors 50.2 ...

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