PH safe from global downturn - World Bank

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The Philippines, along with Vietnam, has the strongest growth prospects in Southeast Asia, according to the World Bank.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The global economy is taking a turn for the worse, but the Philippines will stay resilient, the World Bank says.

The World Bank downgraded its growth forecast for the global economy this year, cutting it to 2.4% percent from the 2.9 % it initially forecast in January.

In the latest update of its Global Economic Prospects report, it attributed the slowdown to advanced economies like the US, Europe and Japan that have struggled to get over the global financial crisis in 2008.

Low commodity prices have also hit emerging economies, especially those in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Carribean. These regions depend on commodities for their exports, but prices have stayed "stubbornly low."

World trade has also been subdued, partly because of the slowing economy of China — the major trade partner of many countries.

In spite of this, the World Bank has retained the Philippines' growth forecast for this year. It expects the economy to expand by 6.4% this year, ramping up from the 5.8% growth seen in 2015. It then sees a slight taper to 6.2% for 2017 and 2018.

Related: Philippines may widen debt borrowings, cut income tax to fuel growth

The Philippines, along with Vietnam, has the strongest growth prospects in Southeast Asia, the World Bank said.

The growth drivers are the acceleration of the public-private partnership (PPP) program for infrastructure projects, as well as strong domestic consumption.

While exporters inevitably take a hit from tepid global trade, the Philippines has a diverse export market, it added.

Sought for comment, BDO Capital & Investment Corp. President Eduardo Francisco agreed with the World Bank's reading.

"The global slowdown actually differentiates the Philippines. If a country is dependent on exports, like China or Singapore, it will suffer. But we're driven by local factors, so we're insulated," Francisco told CNN Philippines on Wednesday.

"As long as people still go to Jollibee or to Max's or to SM, economic growth should continue," he added.

Francisco warned though, that the World Bank's forecast emphasizes that there are still systemic risks in the global economy.

Should the shocks become more drastic, he said, they could affect overseas Filipino workers, the shipping industry or the business process outsourcing industry — key contributors to the Philippine economy.