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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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INDUSTRY REPORTS

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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ECONOMIC NEWS

Philippines Secures Investment Pledges Of USD 1.24 Billion From Japanese Firms

Philippines  -  March 2019

Trade and economic relationship between the Philippines and Japan remains strong, as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Philippines and the Board of Investments (BOI) recently secured investment pledges of USD 1.24 billion from Japanese firms during its business mission to Japan from March 11-13, 2019.

These investments are in the areas of manufacturing, retail, real estate, automotive, agriculture, as well as education. Among the firms which have committed investments are the following:


  1. Mitsubishi Corporation, in a joint venture with a Filipino real estate company, will build affordable housing units with an investment of USD 76 million.

  2. Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd., together with Magsaysay Maritime Corporation, will inaugurate the MOL Magsaysay Maritime Academy for USD 5.3 million.

  3. Itochu Corporation, through its subsidiary Dolefil and in collaboration with Metro Pacific Investment Corporation, will invest in a waste-to-energy project worth USD 19.2 million converting fruit wastes into bio-gas.

  4. Sumitomo Wiring Systems will invest USD 46 million into a manufacturing facility to produce wire harness systems for automotive. The BOI will assist the company in identifying potential location of the factory.

  5. ISE Food’s USD 250 million will be poured into building a large-scale poultry farm composed of five integrated farms with a combined capacity of six (6) million layers.               

  6. Nomura and Isetan Mitsukoshi eye expansion and will open a Japanese retail concept mall which will offer 30,000 retail spaces and 1,400 housing units in Cebu or Davao.

  7. Tescom Denki aims to establish its manufacturing facility for beauty care products in the Philippines.

  8. NIDEC Corporation is interested to create an Automation Team in the Philippines in charge of mass production of devices for robots.   

  9. Terumo Philippines will develop new products in the Philippines.

These projects are expected to create 16,000 local jobs in the Philippines. Meanwhile, the DTI and BOI addressed the concerns of foreign companies on the new incentive system for foreign investors amid the newly-enforced TRAIN law as well as the second wave of taxation called the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and Higher Quality Opportunities (TRABAHO) Bill.

(Sources: Philippine News Agency; Manila Bulletin)

 

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ICT

Philippines Unveils National ICT Ecosystem Framework

Philippines  -  March 2019

The Philippines’ Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has launched a roadmap for national ICT development and policy formulation co-developed with a global non-profit organization, the Internet Society. The National ICT Ecosystem Framework or NICTEF succeeds the Philippine Digital Strategy of 2011-2016 and is envisioned as a comprehensive blueprint that will enable the consolidation and harmonization of the country’s ICT data, thereby transforming raw data in to valuable information. The NICTEF will be an authoritative reference source for the government's acitivities regrading ICT development, as well as a living document (https://www.ictecosystem.org.ph/) that shall be updated periodically with the latest plans, programs and projects, including recent indicators, accomplishments, outcomes and results.

Several interdependent framework elements have been identified in the National ICT ecosystem:


  • Human Capital: Talents and Skills – the individuals who access the applications, services, content and data that are provided by the players in the ICT ecosystem.

  • Affordable Access and Devices – the interfaces through which humans access the applications, services, content and data – these may include wearable devices, cellphones, laptops, desktop computers, internet cafes, and other similar devices or venues.

  • Platforms (Apps/Services and Content/Data) – these are the solutions (or portions of a solution) which are accessed by users in the ecosystem in order to achieve equitable, inclusive, and sustainable development in our society, and potentially to improve their quality of life.

  • Infostructure/Infrastructure – these are the physical and logical components which collectively perform the function of providing secure connectivity between the users, their devices, and the platform which they are accessing.

  • Standards, Regulation, and Policies – these provide the boundaries which will allow for the players and elements within the ecosystem to safely and productively inter-connect and inter-operate.

The framework has six strategic thrusts: (1) Participatory e-Governance (2) Industry and Countryside Development (3) Resource Sharing and Capacity Building (4) Improved Public Links and Connectivity (5) ICT User Protection and Information Security, and (6) Enabling and Sustainable ICT Environment.   

In order to measure the progress of the ecosystem, indicators have been selected: 1) Network Readiness Index (World Economic Forum); 2) ICT Development Index (International Telecommunications Union); 3) Digital Adoption Index (World Bank); 4) Freedom on the Net Index (Freedom House); 5) World Digital Competitiveness Ranking (IMD World Competitiveness Center); 4) Affordability Drivers Index (Alliance for Affordable Internet); 5) Inclusive Internet Index [Economist Intelligence Unit]; and 6) E-Government Development Index (United Nations).

(Sources: Department of Information and Communications Technology, Philippines; The Philippine Star)

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Oil gas petroleum ship platform

ENERGY

First Gen Receives Notice To Proceed With LNG Terminal Project

Philippines  -  March 2019

FGEN LNG Corporation (FGEN LNG), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Philippine energy company, First Gen Corporation (First Gen), has learned of the approval of its application for a Notice to Proceed (NTP) from the Department of Energy (DOE) as required by the Philippine Downstream Natural Gas Regulation (PDNGR). As per First Gen, they are awaiting the formal notice from the DOE. The application was for the construction of the FGEN Batangas LNG Terminal Project to be located in the First Gen Clean Energy Complex in Batangas City.

Japan-based utility company, Tokyo Gas, plans to hold a 20% stake in the project that is expected to commence operations in 2023. The project aims to construct and operate the first LNG receiving terminal in the Philippines. The FGEN Batangas LNG Terminal Project is intended to serve the natural gas requirements of existing and future gas-fired power plants of third parties and FGEN LNG affiliates.The new terminal will have an annual capacity of 5.26 million tons and investment cost is estimated to be USD 10 billion.

First Gen decided to build the gas import terminal due to the projected depletion of local supplies by 2024. The Philippine government has thus far approved 2 LNG hubs projects. The partnership with Tokyo Gas and First Gen is the largest in capacity size. 

First Gen is one of the biggest independent power producers in the country and the leading gas power generation company in the Philippines with approximately 2,000 MW in operating gas assets composed of four gas-fired power plants – the 1,000 MW Santa Rita Power Plant, the 500 MW San Lorenzo Power Plant, the 414 MW San Gabriel Power Plant and the 97 MW Avion Power Plant, all of which currently operate on Malampaya gas supply.

(Sources: First Gen; The Japan Times) 

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MEDICAL

Philips Partners With Ayala For Integrated Health Technology Solution

Philippines  -  March 2019

Philips Philippines and Ayala Healthcare Holdings Inc. (AC Health) signed a memorandum of understanding to build an integrated and advanced health technology solution.

The collaboration between the two firms, that aims to provide better and seamless healthcare services to the community, will include the expansion of primary care and other specialty clinics with a total solution proposition such as provision of medical devices, clinical workflow design, software and solutions. Part of the agreement is the necessary training that Philips will provide to AC health including its cutting-edge health technology solutions such as the Lumify ultrasound solution and sleep and respiratory care solutions.

With the healthcare sector clouded by challenges like aging population, rise of chronic diseases and resource constraints, Philips believes that building integrated health solutions can help clinicians better diagnose and treat their patients.

(Source: The Daily Tribune; Manila Times; The Philippine Star)

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ENVIRONMENT

San Miguel Corporation To Fund PHP 1 Billion Cleanup Of Tullahan River

Philippines  -  March 2019

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has inked a five-year deal with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) of the Philippines to cleanup the Tullahan river. SMC has pledged to provide PHP 1 billion (USD 19 million) funding for a comprehensive dredging and cleanup program for the river. Cleaning of the 59.24-kilometer Tullahan river will play a crucial role in the rehabilitation of Manila bay, as the river traverses to several cities before reaching the shore of Manila bay.

For decades, SMC has been making efforts to make sure that only clean water is being disposed to the river through its wastewater facilities as well as dredging the Tullahan river. It has also donated backhoes and a barge to local government units for its cleanup programs in the past. To further its contribution, under the five-year agreement SMC will:


  • Implement dredging and clean-up plan provided by the DENR to reduce solid wastes and floating debris.

  • Lend equipment, manpower, and funding for equipment operations such as fuel and logistics costs.

  • Assist in the community mobilization activities of the DENR.

  • Install a trash trap, transfer dredged materials, and install signage in relation to the rehabilitation program.

The government hopes that the active participation of SMC would inspire other private companies to contribute to the rehabilitation of the river.

(Sources: Philippine Inquirer; BusinessWorld; Manila Standard)

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INFRASTRUCTURE

Philippine Infradev Subsisidary For Subway Projects Gets Approval From SEC

Philippines  -  March 2019

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved the application of infrastructure and real estate company Philippine Infradev Holdings Inc to incorporate Makati City Subway, Inc., which will take charge of its underground railway project in Makati City. The subway is targeted to open in 2025, and expected to accommodate 700,000 passengers daily.

Philippine Infradev is the proponent of the USD 3.7-billion Makati City Subway Project, which aims to build an 11-kilometer intracity railway system in the business district. It will also link the Metro Rail Transit, the proposed Manila Mega Subway which is schedule to be completed in 2025 and the Pasig Ferry.

Philippine Infradev is joined by Chinese firms Greenland Holdings Group, Jiangsu Provincial Construction Group Co. Ltd., Holdings Ltd. and China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd., which signed a memorandum of understanding with the Makati City government in 2018. The 30-year concession agreement for the project is expected to be signed in 2019. In December 2018, the group started preparatory works for the project such as soil testing.

Furthermore, Philippine Infradev has also singed an agreement with China Civil Engineering Construction Corp (CCECC), under which CCECC will support the subway’s construction by investing USD 300 to USD 350 million into the company or its subsidiary, undertake engineering procurement and construction work for the project. Both Philippine Infradev and CCECC will have until 19 May 2019 to complete the entire due diligence process, prior to formalization of the CCECC’s investment and execution of the formal investment agreement.

(Sources: The Manila Times; BusinessWorld)

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MANUFACTURING

New PHP 1 Billion Plant Opened By Mindanao

Philippines  -  March 2019

Gardenia Bakeries Philippines Inc. announced the inauguration of its new 2.5 hectare plant in Mindanao.The PHP 1 billion (USD 19 million) production facility is located in PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate in Misamis Oriental with the capacity of producing 130,000 loaves and buns per day.

The plant has fully automated bread-making machines that will produce white bread, health bread selections, flavored loaf offerings and buns or pandesal products. Almost all equipment of the plant was imported from Germany, the Netherlands, United States, Malaysia and Japan.

With this expansion, Gardenia is forecasting a 35% increase in sales which will not only serve the growing demand in Mindanao but also to support the huge requirement in Visayas. The company is also preparing to start the full operation of its PHP 2 billion (USD 38 million) plant in Pampanga this year.

(Sources: The Philippine Star; BusinessWorld; Manila Bulletin)

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DEFENSE / AEROSPACE / AVIATION

Metrojet Begins Construction Of FBO/MRO Complex In The Philippines

Philippines  -  March 2019

Hong Kong based business jet operator, Metrojet, commenced the construction of a 26,000 square meter aviation parking and maintenance facility in the Philippines. The USD 25 million facility is located in Clark, Pampanga and is expected to be operational by 2020. It will have 11,000 square meter of taxiway and parking ramp for aircraft parking, MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) and FBO (fixed-base operator) services, 7,100 square meter of floor space that can accommodate a maximum of 10 long range business jets (Boeing Business Jet or Airbus Corporate Jet), and 2,500 square meter for customer accommodation and storage, engineering support workshops, and materials warehousing.

Metrojet has secured a 50-year contract lease and noted that the location, relative to its area of operation, Clark’s freedom of operation and freeport zones, and the support from government are the main factors behind choosing the location of investment. Singapore-based Aircraft Support Industries (ASI) will construct the facility while another Singapore firm, MERx Construction Management Pte. Ltd., will be responsbile for the design and build of the project

(Source: BusinessWorld; AIN Online; AviationPros)

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RETAIL / FMCG

Alfamart To Open 200 New Stores In The Philippines

Philippines  -  March 2019

Indonesian mini-mart chain company, Alfamart, is planning to open 200 new stores in the Philippines in 2019, according to a report by Fitch Ratings. Alfamart has partnered with Philippine conglomerate, SM Group, to aggressively expand its footprints in the Philippines, where it currently has 400 stories.

According to the Fitch Ratings report, the country’s mini-mart sector is untapped and has limited competition at present. Existing players only carry limited products, in contrast to Alfamart stores which offer fresh and frozen seafood, personal care and small household appliances, giving it a competitive advantage. 

Alfamart has chosen to expand in the Philippines as the company believes that the country has more potential compared to other South East Asian markets like Thailand and Vietnam. Fitch cites that the Philippines, like Indonesia, are consumer-driven markets with young population and an expanding middle class. Local consumers prefer to buy small amounts of bundled products rather than filling grocery carts.

Through Alfamart’s partnership with the SM Group, the company’s investment risk is mitigated by the strong presence of SM Group in the country. Alfamart will have access to SM Group’s large business network including its 1,729 retail stores nationwide and its strong brand.

(Source: Retail News Asia) 

Companies

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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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Economic Development Agencies & Trade Associations

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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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Trade Representation

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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Market Research

Our strong track record in performing a targeted analysis of specific industry sectors in multiple markets has helped many economic development organizations (EDOs) to develop strat...

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Investment Attraction

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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Additional Services

Having worked with government agencies and trade associations for over 20 years, we also provide a range of additional services customized to the requirements of these organizations...

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COMPANIES SEEKING AGENTS/DISTRIBUTORS/RESELLERS IN The Philippines

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Lovinflame, Inc.

Taiwan, Republic Of China
Consumer Goods; Furniture & Wood; Others
Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
Innovative Candles: Lovinflame’s Ceramic Candles are po...
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Crown Hardwood Co., Inc.

USA
Furniture & Wood
Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
US Hardwood Logs: Cherry, Hickory, Hard Maple, Poplar, Wa...
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Visual Software Inc.

USA
Education; Medical; Others
Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam
We create, market and support products that allow various...
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