The Filipino workforce is one of the most compelling advantages the Philippines has over any other Asian country. With higher education priority, the literacy rate in the country is 94.6% – among the highest. English is taught in all schools, making the Philippines the world’s third largest English-speaking country. Every year, there are some 350,000 graduates enriching the professional pool.
Strategic Business Location
The Philippines is located right in the heart of Asia – today the fastest growing region. It is located within four hours flying time from major capitals of the region. Sited 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.
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 expatriates who enjoy the company of the warmest people in the region, the country’s openness to varied cultures and a decidedly global outlook. Expats enjoy accessible and affordable luxuries – business centers, housing, schools, hospitals, shopping malls, hotels and restaurants, beach resorts, and recreation centers.
An archipelago like the Philippines offers diverse natural resources, from land to marine to mineral resources. It is also the biggest copper producer in Southeast Asia and among the top ten producer of gold in the world. It is also home to 2,145 fish species, four times more than those found in the Bahamas. The 7,100 islands boast of beautiful beaches and breathtaking sceneries that offer soothing leisure and relaxation spots for vacationers and tourists.
Low cost of doing business
Wages are typically less than a fifth of that in the U.S. Local communication, electricity and housing costs are also 50% lower compared to the U.S. rates. Foreign companies that are now outsourcing programming and business processes to the Philippines estimate 30 to 40% business cost savings, 15 to 30% call center services and application systems and 35 to 50% software development.
Liberalized and Business-Friendly Economy
An open economy allows 100% foreign ownership in almost all sectors and supports a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) investment scheme that other Asian countries emulate. Government corporations are being privatized and the banking, insurance, shipping telecommunications and power industries have been deregulated. Incentive packages include the corporate income tax, reduced to a current 32%, with companies in the Special Economic Zones are subject to only 5% overall tax rates. Multinationals looking for regional headquarters are entitled to incentives such as tax exemptions and tax and duty-free importation of specific equipment and materials.
Unlimited business opportunities
As Asian economies integrate within the vast framework of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA), the Philippines is the natural and most strategic location for firms that want access to the large ASEAN market and its vast trade opportunities. The Philippines has enhanced and primed up various areas for investors and offers a dynamic consumer market accustomed to an array of product choices created by a competitive domestic economy.
Developing Infrastructure for Global Growth
A well-developed communication, transportation, business and economic infrastructure links the three major islands and distinguishes the Philippine economy. 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.
All you need and more
The Philippines offer state-of-the-art telecommunications facilities, adequate and uninterrupted 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. With the government’s focus on building up an IT-enabled economy, the Philippines is on its way to becoming the E-services Hub of Asia.
For more information on doing business in the Philippines, log on to www.boi.gov.ph (Board of Investments), www.dti.gov.ph (Department of Trade and Industry), and http://pticvietnam.weebly.com (Philippine Trade and Investment Center, Vietnam)