HSBC has forecasted that the Philippines could become the world’s 16th largest economy by 2050, making it an attractive and exciting prospect for UK businesses. The Philippines is now ranked 52nd in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report; it has improved by 32 places in the last 4 years.
The Philippines offers a liberalised economy and a highly westernised culture that is very receptive to UK products and services. The Philippines is the third-largest English-speaking country in the world and its workforce is easily trainable and generally skilled. Often voted as one of the most liveable countries in Asia for expatriates, the Philippines has a well-developed network of communications and transportation infrastructure that links the three largest island groups of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
In addition, the Philippines’ strategic location makes it a potential gateway for investors to the wider Asian region. It is less than two hours’ flying time to Hong Kong, within four hours of other major Asian cities, and lies astride major international shipping lanes.
- Head of State: President Rodrigo Duterte
- Capital city: Manila
- Total population: 102, 766, 601
- Languages: Filipino and English (official); 8 major dialects – Tagalog, Cebuano, llocano, Hiligaynon, Bicol, Waray, Pampango and Pangasinan
- Religions: Roman Catholic 80.6%, Muslim 5.6%, Evangelical 2.7%, Iglesia ni Kristo 2.4%, Other Christian 4.5%, Other 4.1%, None 0.1%
- Monetary unit: Peso (PHP)
- Natural resources: Petroleum, gold, silver copper, nickel, cobalt, timber, salt
- Major exports: Semi-conductors and electronic products, transport equipment, garments, copper products, petroleum products, coconut oil, fruits
- Major imports: Electronic products, mineral fuels, machinery and transport equipment, iron and steel, textile fabrics, grains, chemicals, plastic
In 2013, the Philippines was awarded “investment grade” status by three global rating agencies (Standard & Poor, Moody Investor Service, and Fitch Ratings). Today, the Philippines is currently Southeast Asia’s fastest growing country and has taken over the growth leadership role among ASEAN member countries.
UK businesses with international ambitions are strongly encouraged to explore this market now to take advantage of continued future growth.