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About Philippines

The Philippines is the world’s 10th fastest growing economy globally with annual growth projected to be at 6.8% in both 2017 and 2018. Being the world's third largest English-speaking country, the Filipino workforce is one of the most compelling advantages the country has over any other Asian country.

The country, which has a population of over 100 million, has emerged as an attractive market for foreign companies due to its strong and stable economy and sound macroeconomic, fiscal and monetary policies. The government's plans for sustained infrastructure spending between 2017 and 2022 is expected to help keep the country’s economic engine running smoothly.

Population: 102.62 million
Inflation Rate: 1.8%
Currency: Philippine Peso (PHP)
Ave Exchange Rate: PHP 47.08 : US$ 1
Imports: US$ 77.52 billion
Exports: US$ 43.44 billion
GDP: US$ 311.7 billion
GDP per capita (PPP) US$ 7,700
Real GDP Growth 6.9%
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This report provides an overview of the medical technologies sector in the Philippines, which is one of the fastest growing economies in South East Asia. The Philippine Health Insurance Corp’s (PhilHealth) mandate to increase its coverage from 92% to 100% of the population is expected to...

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This report is designed to provide an overview of the smart cities sector in the Philippines. The Philippines, which has one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia, has joined the world’s move towards utilizing intelligent technologies that aim to speed up a country’s economy tow...

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The Philippines has improved remarkably in its economic standing over the past years, and is now listed by the World Bank as the 10th fastest-growing economy in the world. Its ballooning population, and high rates of urbanization have led to a growing demand for potable water, as well as a gre...

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Philippines Country Profile

The report offers a wide range of data and information collected from various sources that were built together in order to provide not just facts but deeper insights about the country. Unlike other country reports that focus more on macro-economic data, we think that the most valuable part of ...

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USD 1 Billion R&D Hub For Maglev Trains To Be Set Up In Cagayan Ecozone

Philippines  -  November 2018

According to the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, Chinese firms Eminova Asset Management Ltd. and Hunan Goke Maglev Technology Development Ltd. are setting up a USD1-billion training and production center for Maglev trains in Sta. Ana, Cagayan. Maglev, or magnetic levitation, is a system of operating trains by way of powerful magnets, which lifts the cars as they are propelled forward.

The scope includes the planning, design, construction, operation organization management, consulting and technical services, R&D center for training and production of low speed, medium speed, and high-speed electromagnetic vehicle, comprehensive development of other related industries, import and export of Maglev technology transportation, and other new rail transit projects.

The Maglev production line in CEZA would roll out light rail vehicles and medium and high-speed Maglev trains from 200 kilometers (km) to 400 km per hour for countries in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines. CEZA would be providing the land area for the project. 

Hunan Goke Maglev,  the largest magnetic levitation line builder in the world, will be responsible for establishing the research and development for training and production center, ensuring technology transfer and generating local employment. For Eminova, its role would be to provide the necessary financial and marketing requirement including financial investment and feasibility studies for the project. Eminova is an independent investment fund management of Australian and European funders with a portfolio covering projects in energy, environment, global entertainment and infrastructure. The Hong Kong-based firm is expected to finance the first phase of the joint venture.

The Maglev research and development project is expected to diversify investments in the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport. CEZA is positioning the freeport as the “FinTech City” or the “Silicon Valley of Asia” by attracting startup firms engaged in financial technology and overseas trading of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and etherium. CEZA has so far attracted more than two dozen startup firms.

(Sources: The Philippine Star; Philippine News Agency)

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Udenna-China Telecom Declared Third Telco Player In The Philippines

Philippines  -  November 2018

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in the Philippines have officially proclaimed the consortium of Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company (Mislatel) as the third telecommunications provider in the country. The consortium is composed of Udenna Corporation and Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corporation, both owned by Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy, and China’s third largest mobile service provider, China Telecom.

The decision came after the NTC had denied the appeal for reconsideration of Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (PT&T) and Sear Telecommunications Consortium, the two other groups that vied for the project. The former was disqualified due to incomplete documents and the latter failed to submit a PHP 700 million (USD 13.3 million) participation security bond.    

The selection committee still carried on the computerized bidding process with Mislatel scoring 456.80 points out of 500 based on the criteria of Highest Committed Level of Service (HCLoS). The group assures that 37.03% of the population will be covered on an average internet speed of 27 Mbps through PHP 150 billion (USD 2.9 billion) investment for the first year of operation, while it will boost its capital expenditure to PHP 258 billion (USD 4.9 billion) covering 84.01% of the population on 55 Mbps from the second to the fifth year of operations. Failure to deliver its commitment would cost the company a penalty of PHP 14 billion (USD 0.3 billion) as its performance security bond will be forfeited.

Meanwhile, the group is open for commercial partnership with the country’s two telecom giants, PLDT and Globe, as well as other small players. In terms of investments, Udenna and Chelsea Corporations will hold 35% and 25% ownership respectively, while China Telecom is restricted to a maximum of 40% share based on the country’s equity rule.

(Sources: Yugatech; Manila Times; Department of Information and Communications Technology, Philippines)

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Philippines, China Sign MOU on Joint Gas, Oil Developement

Philippines  -  November 2018

The Philippines and China have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cooperation in oil and gas exploration and development in the West Philippine Sea during the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jingping in the Philippines.

The MOU will serve as a framework on future negotiations between the two nations on how they can collaboratively explore the oil and gas in the West Philippine Sea. According to the memorandum, Beijing and Manila will create an Inter-Governmental Joint Steering Committee and one or more inter-entrepreneurial working groups that will be composed of government officials, relevant agencies, and other individuals from both the Philippines and China.

The Steering Committee will be chaired by the Foreign Ministries of both countries and the vice chair will be their respective Energy Ministers. The inter-entrepreneurial working groups on the other hand, shall be composed of representatives from enterprises authorized by the two governments, in which China already identified its State-Owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) to be its representative in all working groups.

The MOU however, which was among the 29 agreements signed by the two countries, does not indicate the specific areas to be covered by the joint exploration.

(Sources: Oil & Gas Journal; Philippine Daily Inquirer; Business Mirror)

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Clinic doctor health hospital


Philippines Government Creating Cancer Control Program

Philippines  -  November 2018

the Philippines Senate had passed the National Integrated Cancer Control Act (Senate Bill 1850) seeking to institutionalize an integrated cancer control program in the country. The bill aims to address the gaps in cancer care through:

  • Establishment of a National Integrated Cancer Control Council to focus on implementing programs, not only for providing comprehensive and affordable cancer treatments but also to work on minimizing cases that are preventable.

  • Creation of Philippine Cancer Center (PCC), under the supervision of the Philippine General Hospital, for the treatment and accommodation of patients, and conducting research with universities, hospitals and institutions for cancer prevention and cure.

  • Establishment of a Cancer Assistance Fund to assist on medicines and treatment by ensuring a steady supply of cancer drugs and cancer-control related vaccines.

  • Expansion of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth)'s  benefit packages to include screening, detection, diagnosis, treatment assistance, supportive care, survivorship follow-up care and rehabilitation, and end of-life-care, for all types and stages of cancer in both adults and children.

  • Requiring Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) to cover genetic counseling and testing, cancer screening, diagnostic and palliative care.

  • Using the State-run Social Security System (SSS) and the disability benefits of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to cover the compensation of cancer-related absences from work of member-employees and voluntary members through their sickness and disability benefits.

Ultimately, the bill would mandate the Department of Health (DOH) to encourage individuals living with cancer to undergo the necessary treatment and care.

(source: Rappler, Senate)

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Waste to energy


Metro Pacific Investments Setting Up Waste-To-Energy Conversion Facility

Philippines  -  November 2018

Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has inked an agreement with Dole Philippines Inc. (DPI) to design, construct and operate biogas facilities for the company’s factories in South Cotabato, Mindanao.

The waste-to-energy project, with an estimated investment of PHP 1 billion (USD 19 million) will be developed by MPIC’s subsidiary Metpower Venture Partners Holdings Inc. (MVPHI) and its unit Surallah Biogas Ventures Corp. (SBVC). The facility is expected to produce 50,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy from the processed organic fruit wastes and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by about 100,000 tons annually.

Prior to the announcement of the agreement, MPIC signed a deal with Union Bank of the Philippines to secure a PHP 5 billion (USD 95 million), 10-year loan with a fixed interest rate to fund several projects and for other general corporate purposes.

(Sources: BusinessWorld, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Standard)

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ICTSI Offers To Develop Iloilo Ports For PHP 5 Billion (USD 95.3 Million)

Philippines  -  November 2018

International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) has submitted a proposal to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to develop two ports in Iloilo – the Iloilo Port Complex and the Port of Dumangas, an investment estimated to cost over PHP 5 billion (SDU 93.5 million).

In line with the future development needs of Iloilo and the Visayas, ICTSI submitted a Letter of Intent to modernize the ports’ infrastructure and superstructure, and to eventually manage and operate the two Iloilo ports. Overall, the company hopes to be able to assist the port authority in its goals to upgrade the Philippine port network in the hope of facilitating inter-island and international cargo movement. 

According to ICTSI Chairman and President Enrique K. Razon, the investment is in line with the company’s belief in the growth potential of the Visayas in general and of Iloilo in particular. That growth is anchored on the building of infrastructure and the delivery of basic utilities and services. 

An integral part of this port investment will include the dredging and deepening of the port itself and the channel to allow the direct entry of new generation, international vessels. New port equipment to be brought in during the first phase alone has been estimated to cost PHP 1.35 billion (USD 25.7 million) and will include modern quayside crane handling equipment. ICTSI is also offering to substantially invest in the development of the Port of Dumangas in order to seamlessly handle the spill over from the city port. 

ICTSI will introduce new systems in operations, engineering and administration. The introduction of automation will further promote efficiency and security. With its excellent relationship with major shipping lines, the ICTSI commercial team will promote the services of the Iloilo ports. And as with its other ports, ICTSI hopes to employ local talent that will operate the ports. Lastly, ICTSI also hopes to roll out engagement programs for port users to ease business transactions. 

(Source: International Container Terminal Services, Inc.)

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Factory plant metal


Chinese Steel Company To Locate Plant In Mindanao

Philippines  -  November 2018

Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez confirmed that Chinese steel company Panhua Group Co., Ltd. (Panhua) will set up a 305-hectare integrated steel manufacturing plant at the PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate of the Misamis Oriental-Special Economic Zone (PIEMO-SEZ).

At the sidelines of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the Philippines, the Secretary led the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Panhua Chairman Xinghua Li, PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority CEO and Administrator Atty. Franklin Quijano, and Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Deputy Director General Tereso O. Panga on 20 November.

The USD 3.5 billion investment will be directed towards a port, an integrated steel mill with a capacity of 10 million tons, an industrial park, and other downstream industries. The three-phase project is expected to be completed in 6 to 7 years and will generate 50,000 jobs.

After this MOU, Panhua will proceed to obtain a PEZA registration and an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and to sign a memorandum of agreement to begin the construction of the project.

(Sources: Department of Trade and Industry)

Police officer


Philippine Government Agency Partners With Korean Armor Company

Philippines  -  November 2018

Ranking officials of the Government Arsenal (GA) and South Korean corporation SAMYANG Comtech Co. Ltd signed an implementing arrangement for the Force Protection Equipment (FPE) co-production agreement Tuesday.

GA is a government agency under the Department of National Defense responsible for the production of basic weaponry and ammunition for the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police. 

The FPE co-production agreement was crafted on July 4, 2017 with technology transfer as a vehicle towards the local manufacture of force protection equipment in the Philippines. Both parties have agreed on the terms and conditions, which are anchored on the spirit of cooperation and mutual trust between GA and SAMYANG.

The South Korean firm will establish FPE manufacturing and testing facilities in the GA complex, and eventually transfer to the Government Arsenal the technology needed in the production and testing of armor vests and ballistic helmets. This technology, which is equivalent to the quality of South Korea’s Army FPE, is needed by the GA to develop the capability for the in-country production of FPE to support the requirements of the AFP and other law enforcement agencies, in line with the FPE Acquisition Program of the Philippines.

(Source: Philippine News Agency; Department of National Defense)

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Automation factory workers


Lazada Expanding Operations In The Philippines

Philippines  -  November 2018

Lazada’s biggest warehouse and logistics facility can be found in the Philippines but the rise of e-commerce in the country prompted the company’s local unit to build an even bigger and more optimized facility located in Clark, Pampanga and four more warehouses within the country in the next three to five years.

The warehouse facilities, dubbed by the company as fifth-generation facilities, will have double capacity and will be equipped with the latest technology and equipment. Apart from these, the company will also enhance its partnership with logistics partners and increase its distribution centers where products land before they are delivered to customers.

Lazada’s 11.11. Shopping Festival that happened throughout its Southeast Asian markets greatly contributed to its parent company. Alibaba-launched Single’s Day event broke its own record sales from last year.

The Philippine e-commerce market is expected to grow to USD 6 billion in the next three to five years, an average of 17% yearly increase, while Google and Temasek have forecasted it to reach USD 9.7 billion by 2025, surpassing Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam. Lazada dominates the e-commerce sector in the Philippines, receiving over 35 million visits per month. 

(source: PTV News, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business Mirror)



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Customized Agent/ Distributor/Reseller Search

Having completed over 1000 customized agent/distributor/reseller searches for our clients over the years, this is one of the most popular trade services that we offer to potential clients. Typic...

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Sourcing Services

There is a growing interest in sourcing for products from South East Asia for strategic and competitive reasons. Companies from around the world are looking for suppliers in Malaysia, Thailand, ...

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Business Incorporation/ Site Selection

We counsel businesses on where to locate their office and industrial operations and what the optimal business structure should be to meet local government and tax requirements. Some of the quest...

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Market Research

To successfully export your products or services, you need to learn about your customers, your competitors and your industry. Our market research process starts off with brainstorming effective ...

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Trade Show Support

Many companies participate in trade shows hoping to find customers or local agents or distributors. However, they come away from these events with less than desired results. But with our trade s...

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Additional Services

Based on past experience in helping companies that are looking to grow their exports to one or more markets in South East Asia, we have found that some of these additional services that we offer...

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Trade Mission Organization

Visiting a market to meet with prospective customers or partners is essential as business is built on developing personal connections and understanding the local culture. Traveling ...

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Trade Show Support

Trade shows can be an excellent option for companies and trade organizations to make key business and industry connections overseas. But to maximize the benefit of participating in ...

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With over 20 years of experience providing dedicated representation in South East Asia to economic development organizations (EDOs) from North America and Europe, we offer EDOs the ...

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Attracting investment from overseas can mean new or retained jobs in your area. Our investment attraction support services will position your economic development organization (EDO)...

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