World’s third-largest English speaking country, The Philippines has a skilled manpower which gives it an advantage over neighbouring Asian countries. Situated strategically between Pacific Ocean and South China Sea, it is a critical entry point to some 500 million people in the ASEAN market which makes it unique in terms of trade opportunities and an ideal base for business. It also has the best overall quality of expatriate life in Asia because of its cultural similarity with expatriates, housing, educational institutions, healthcare and recreational facilities.
Its geography as archipelago makes it rich in natural resources. Spread across 7,100 islands with numerous white and black sand beaches, it is naturally eminent and attractive to holidaymakers, vacationers and tourists. The amazing marine biodiversity of The Philippines and its abundant range of flora and fauna have made it the world’s undersea destination. It also produces copper and gold which makes it one of the world’s biggest producers.
All this, together with its surprisingly low cost for doing business and extremely economical wages make it an investor-friendly place.
Business policies of the government are investor-friendly, but there has been intense corruption in the government earlier, but the new government has got rid of it almost. Presently, the government is encouraging more privatisation and permitting more private sector participation in infrastructure development and services.
The government has resorted to the innovative approach of Build-Operate-Transfer scheme. Foreign ownership of up to 100% has been allowed in almost all sectors, with the exception of the banking industry in which 60% ownership of a foreign company is allowed. The Industrial Estates and Special Economic Zones are promoted as agricultural, industrial, commercial and recreational hubs through attractive incentives.
The country has a strong electronics and computers sector representing about two-third of its total exports. Some of its other exports include foods and commodities, and oil.