About the Philippines

The Philippines is an archipelago located in Southeast Asia in the Western Pacific, with Manila as its Capital City. The country is tropical land with a “tropical rainforest climate” rich with biodiversities and mountainous terrain. It has vast inland straits and numerous harbors positioning it as a centre for regional and global trade and exchange.

The Philippines is the ideal haven for future investments and business opportunities as well as an excellent place to live in and retire.

Various descriptions to illustrate the country’s advantages are the country’s strategic location, hardworking and English-speaking people, continuous infrastructure for global growth, democratic government, liberalized economy, etc.

 

It is the natural gateway to the East Asian Economies, having one of the most active and resilient economies in the Asia-Pacific region. It is one of the largest archipelagos in the world having about 7,107 islands and islets divided into three major island groupings called Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

 

Situated at the crossroads of the eastern and western business, it is a critical entry point to over 500 million people in the ASEAN market and a gateway of international shipping and air lanes suited for European and American businesses. It is serviced by 22 airlines, proximity by aircraft to major cities like Hong Kong and Taipei (1.4 hr.), Seoul, Tokyo and Singapore (3.5 hrs.), Sydney (8 hrs.), US West Coast (14 hrs.), Europe (12 hrs.).

The country has a tropical climate with relatively copious rainfall and gentle winds. Warm and humid conditions prevail throughout the year. The archipelago experiences three pronounced seasons – the hot or summer season from March to May, the rainy season from June to November and the cold season from December to February. The southwest monsoon (from May to October) is known as the “habagat” and the dry winds of the northeast monsoon (from November to April) as the “amihan”.
The Filipino workforce is one of the most compelling advantages which the Philippines has over any other Asian country. There is an abundant supply of quality labor with a large pool of generally well-educated, highly trainable, competent, creative and conversant English-speaking labor force which can address the companies’ needs at many levels – from the rank-and-file, to middle management and senior executives offering world-class financial, legal, accounting and other critical services.

 

The Filipino’s primary language is Filipino, but like western countries, English is the language which is being used and taught in all schools, making the Philippines the world’s third largest English-speaking country. It is also widely spoken and understood and the language used for most business and legal transactions.

Linking the three major islands and distinguishes the Philippine economy is a well-developed communication, transportation, business and economic infrastructure. Highly accessible by air, water and cyberspace, liberalization of inter-island shipping and domestic aviation further sparked improved facilities and services. The container terminals are suited to handle cargo traffic at the highest levels of efficiency.

 

Communication provides redundant international connectivity 24/7 with fiber optic cable as primary backbone network and satellite as backup. Economic reforms emphasize regional growth, converting remote areas into business centers. The landmark BOT legislation allows private investors to build and operate infrastructure, then turn it over to the Philippine government after a set period of time.

 

A business-ready regional investment sites are constantly being done. The government has been establishing Regional Growth Centers, Special Economic Zones and Industrial Zones equipped with full infrastructure support by way of power, road networks, telecommunications and other utilities that effectively direct job-creating project to the countryside.

The Philippines attracts foreign-based companies with its foreign investment law which opens more investment areas to 100% foreign equity in almost all sectors, and supports a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) investment scheme that other Asian countries emulate. The banking, insurance, shipping, telecommunications and power industries have been deregulated and are being privatized by Government corporations.

 

Incentive packages are at par with other ASEAN countries. Corporate income tax for companies in Special Economic Zones are reduced from a current 32% tax rates. They also enjoy Income tax holidays, Capital equipment incentives, Employment of foreign nationals in selected positions, Basic privileges and guarantees remittance of profits and payment of foreign obligations and repatriation of investments. Multinationals looking for regional headquarters are entitled to incentives such as tax exemptions and tax and duty-free importation of specific equipment and materials.

The country’s leaders and people are committed to free enterprise and are highly receptive to foreign participation in the country’s development. Since the restoration of a democratic government in 1986, the country’s democracy has continued on a sound path of stronger and healthier institutions, more openness and transparency. Now, the Philippines is a free market economy with a minimum government intervention which is committed to development and improvement of business climate to encourage more foreign investments.
Discover the best of sun, sea, sand and style in the tropical setting teeming with the best of western amenities. The Philippines is second home to foreigners and expatriates who enjoy the company of the warmest people in the region, the country’s openness to varied cultures, festivals and a decidedly global outlook.

 

The amenities and services make it easy for them as well as their families to relocate. Excellent housing, with added bonus of easily affordable housing services and luxuries. Business centers, schools, modern hospitals and health care services, shopping malls, hotels and restaurants, beach resorts, and recreation centers are some of the pluses which make executive life a pleasant experience.

 

All you need and more…

The Philippines offers state-of-the-art telecommunications facilities and adequate power supply. There are ready-to-occupy offices and production facilities, computer security and building monitoring systems, as well as complete office services in specialized IT zones. It is a viable alternative for a cost-effective location of back-office functions, making it a competitive business outsourcing destination. With the government’s focus on building up an IT-enabled economy wherein the country is strongly positioned as a regional center for Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the Philippines is now a formidable contender as Asia’s Shared Services Center for processes such as finance, accounting, human resource, IT solutions, and engineering design, becoming the E-services Hub of Asia.

All of the above advantages translate into good return on investment for foreign companies operating in the Philippines.

 

TOTAL PHILIPPINE EXPORTS (1991-2012)

Source: NSO

 

CHANGING FACE OF PHILIPPINE EXPORTS

1970

  • Notes:
  • Traditional Exports – Coconut, Sugar, Forest, Minerals and Fruits & Vegetables products
  • Non-traditional exports – Electrical Equipment, Garments, Textiles, Footwear,Wood Manufacturers, Furnitures & Fixtures, Processed F&B

2012

Source: Chart 1 (1970) – Census of Mfg Establishment ,
NSO; Chart 2 (2012) – NSO (Jan-Dec 2012)

 

 

“…From Banana Chips to MICROCHIPS”

 

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