Philippine Minister named Euromoney's Finance Minister 2012

Cesar Purisima, the finance minister of the Philippines, has been named as Euromoney's Finance Minister of the Year for 2012.

Purisima received his award from Euromoney's group publisher Neil Osborn and editor Clive Horwood at a private reception on the fringes of the World Bank/IMF meetings in Tokyo on Thursday.

Euromoney commended Purisima for his careful and successful stewardship of the economy in the Philippines since returning as Finance secretary in 2010. This has led to a shift in perception and positive view of the Philippines' economy, in which Purisima's leadership and decision-making have been a key factor.

Purisima has worked closely with President Benigno Aquino III to champion the idea that "good governance is good economics." Bankers in the country say he has stuck to his guns, and the country is reaping the rewards. Purisima has unleashed an unforgiving strategy to combat tax evasion and maximize revenue from corporates without introducing any new taxes or reforms.

The Philippine growth story stands out against the challenging global macro-economic backdrop. Under Purisima's guidance, and fighting back after storms and flash floods devastated the country in 2011, GDP growth reached 5.9 percent in the second quarter of this year – up from 3.6 percent the previous year – and brought the first-half GDP average growth to 6.1 percent, showing some of the strongest growth rates in Asia.

Purisima has also taken gutsy measures to protect the Philippines' economy, as developed markets in the west crumbled under pressure. In December 2010, he orchestrated the exchange of short- and medium-tenor local government securities for P39.5 billion ($940 million) 10-year peso bonds, and P181 billion 25-year peso bonds. There was a similar exchange in July 2011, when short- and medium-tenor local government securities were exchanged for P67.6 billion 10-year bonds and P255 billion 20-year bonds."

Euromoney also commends Purisima for his initiatives in promoting capital markets, both in the Philippines and across the broader ASEAN region.

Euromoney, the leading global banking and finance publication, has been nominating a Finance Minister of the Year for the past 30 years to coincide with the World Bank/IMF meetings. The previous three winners of the award were Jim Flaherty of Canada in 2009, Russia's Alexei Kudrin in 2010 and Wayne Swan of Australia last year.

Euromoney's decision is based on three factors: the opinions of a committee of Euromoney's senior editors, chaired by the editor; the views of some of the world's leading bankers, which Euromoney's editorial team seeks out in background meetings; and the analysis of the contributors to our service Euromoney Country Risk (ECR), which has more than 400 economists around the world contributing on a regular basis, as well as data sourced and compiled by ECR.

Recent data compiled by ECR highlight that the Philippines' economic fundamentals have improved since the beginning of the year: its score has risen by more than 10%, one of the biggest improvements among global economies.


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