The Philippines is one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia. In 2016, the Philippines recorded an annual growth of 6.8% in gross domestic product (GDP). Presently, the Philippines is recognised for the export of its skilled workforce whose remittances has become the foundation for the country’s economic growth. For the past years, Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) has become one of the major driving forces in the Philippines’ economic development as foreign investments have tapped into the country’s easily-trained and English-speaking labour force.
The Philippines is an archipelagic country with 7,641 islands and surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, West Philippine Sea, Sulu Sea, and Celebes Sea. With the Philippines’ geographical characteristics and strategic location, the country has become a centre of trade and economic interests asseveral maritime trade routes pass throughthe Philippines’ waters. Moreover, the Philippines’ waters are home to the Tubbataha Reef and comprise a portion of the Coral Triangle.As such, the country’s waters are one of the most diverse and rich marine resources in the world.
Being a country with many islands, the Philippines offers visitors an opportunity to experience a diverse set of culture while relaxing in the country’s natural environment. In Metro Manila, the Philippines’ capital, visitors are able to learn about the local history and experience the country’s modern culture.In the country’s old capital, Intramuros, remnants of the Spanish colonisation can still be felt within its stone walls, cobblestone pavements, and beautiful churches. On the other side of its walls, visitors can partake in a culinary experience and immerse themselves in the bustling Chinese community of Binondo. At the centre of Metro Manila lie the business centres, Makati and Bonifacio Global City (BGC), where the high-rise buildings have become homes to multinational companies. For the past few years, the capital has also witnessed a rise in international hotels and casinos which has added to the colour of the capital.
Outside the capital, visitors can go on an adventure in exploring the Philippines’ many islands. In the northern part of the Philippines, tourists can opt for a hike to Banaue Rice Terraces or see the clouds from the peaks of Sagada. In Central Philippines, there are a wide-range of opportunities to island-hopping to explore the country’s rich marine environment and have a chance encounter to observe the migration of marine species such as whales and dolphins. In the different islands of the Philippines, different local delicacies and vibrant festivals can be experienced to learn not only the Philippine culture but also, the ethnic culture of each region.
While doing business in the Philippines is still relatively cheap, the country remains assertive in improving global competitiveness by liberalising the local market, increasing opportunities for foreign investments, and participating in bilateral and multilateral agreements. With the continued growth of the BPO and manufacturing industry, the Philippine government has bolstered investments to develop and improve local infrastructures and ICT services.Furthermore, various economic incentives and investment schemes are readily-available for foreign companies who wish to expand or outsource their businesses in the Philippines. As the Philippines is easily accessible to other countries in the region, establishing a base of the operations in the country would be an economical and efficient decision.