By Vasundhara Rastogi
The Philippines has shown strong economic growth in the last one year, and is expected to grow at the rate of 6.5-7 percent annually in the coming years. Given its strong economic prospects, it’s the best time for foreign businesses to explore business opportunities in the country.
Manila, the capital and main city of the Philippines, offers a variety of business possibilities in industries ranging from manufacturing to information technology (IT), and financial services. In this article, we provide a brief overview of the city’s investment climate.
By: South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk
The pharmaceutical industry in the Philippines
The Philippines is a major EU trade partner in South-East Asia. In this bilateral relationship, pharmaceuticals will play a growing role as a high-growth sector. In coming years, increasing population affluence and government healthcare initiatives will bolster pharmaceutical consumption in a population which already spends 46% of its out-of-pocket medical expenses. Over the period 2010-2015, some predictions put Philippine out-of-pocket pharmaceutical expenditures as having risen from US$ 664 million to US$ 3.46 billion. Overall healthcare expenditures are predicted to grow at 11.2% annually and reach US$ 38.6 billion by 2023. Many of these sales will take place in retail chain pharmacies—the current dominant drug sales venue—and hospitals which are to be revamped under new government healthcare initiatives. The Philippines is unique in that its largest market players are local firms which maintain their market share through aggressive marketing and generics production.
Op-ed by Bob Shead
In this second part of a two-part article on the Philippine Gaming Industry, I will focus on the country’s online gaming industry. Together with the casino sector, which was the focus of the first part of this article, the online gaming industry is of enormous importance to the country’s economy. In this article, I will also identify possible investment opportunities in this rather complicated and sensitive industry.
The Philippines is an interesting and relatively new market for online gambling. There are two distinct regions in the country, for gambling purposes. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) control the majority of the Philippines where gambling is controlled by the Government owned PAGCOR. As previously mentioned in the casinos sector, PAGCOR operates their land-based casinos, and betting outlets across the country.
The second region is the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) and Freeport which most people just call “Cagayan Freeport.” This is based mainly at the Manila Entertainment Complex, mentioned earlier and located next to Manila Bay. This is the only area in the Philippines not under complete control of PAGCOR. In the Freeport area, there are numerous independent casinos that focus mainly on foreign tourists.
Op-ed by Bob Shead
In the first part of this two-part article on the Philippine Gaming Industry, I will focus on the country’s casino industry. Together with the online gaming sector, which will be the focus of the second part of this article, the casino industry is of enormous importance to the Philippine economy, and is intricately linked to the country’s tourism industry. In this article, I will also identify possible investment opportunities in this rather complicated and sensitive industry.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is the Philippine Government body, founded in 1976, that has the responsibility for governing the casino industry. PAGCOR is 100% owned by the Philippine government, and is a controlled corporation under the Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines. The funds generated by PAGCOR augment the government’s budget for infrastructure and socio-civic projects.
By Harry Handley
Under the Foreign Investment Act, 1991, which was amended in 2015, a vast majority of industries in the Philippines are completely open to overseas investment, allowing 100 percent foreign ownership in most cases. The country managed to attract over US$ 7 billion of FDI in 2016, 25 percent more than the previous year. The UNCTAD World Investment Prospects survey positions the Philippines as the 11th most promising host country for investment over the period 2016-18. In order to best leverage the advantageous conditions, such as widely spoken English and access to the ASEAN Economic Community, the most effective market entry model must be chosen by entrants.
By: Dezan Shira & Associates
The Philippines Bureau of Immigration (BI) has launched a Visa Upon Arrival (VUA) program for Chinese nationals. As part of the program, the BI will issue “landing visas” to Chinese travelers upon their arrival at the airport of their destination. The program will be implemented in the capital Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as well as Clark International Airport, Mactan-Cebu International Airport and at Kalibo International Airport. The VUA scheme will also be extended to Chinese travelers arriving at the Manila, Puerto Princesa, Subic, Laoag, and Caticlan seaports.
By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Vasundhara Rastogi
Foreign nationals planning to work in the Philippines are required to secure a work visa, which can be obtained from the Philippines’ Bureau of Immigration (BI), as well as an Alien Employment Permit (AEP) issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
Alien Employment Permit
An Alien Employment Permit (AEP) authorizes a foreign national to work in the Philippines. Though not a work permit, AEP is an important legal document required to secure a work visa in the country.
Some foreign nationals are exempted from obtaining an AEP. These include:
- All members of the diplomatic service and foreign government officials;
- Owners and representatives of foreign principals whose companies are accredited by Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA); and
- Permanent resident foreign nationals and probationary or temporary resident visa holders under the Philippines’ immigration law.
Op-ed by Bob Shead
In the second part of this article, I will discuss the various sectors of the Philippine tourism industry. The first part of the article, covering the opportunities and incentives for foreign investors in the tourism industry, can be read here.
The main sectors of tourism in the Philippines are:
Casino and Gambling
The gaming/casino industry in the Philippines is becoming more developed, on the back of growing supply and heightened competition, a recent independent report stated. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), the gaming industry regulator, has said that the casino industry continues to grow. This has led to an 18.1 percent increase in PAGCOR’s net income in 2016 to P4.46 billion (US$89 million) from gaming operations. The total gaming revenues in 2016 increased by 22.9 percent to P53.31 billion (US$1.06 billion). PAGCOR also owns and operates 13 casinos in the Philippines, including three in Manila.
Op-ed by Bob Shead
In this article, I would like to attempt to cover the main aspects of the Philippine Tourism Industry and the potential for investment. The tourism industry was worth approximately 8.6 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2016, compared to 8.2 percent in 2015. Foreign investment in the tourism industry in 2016 was P184 billion (US$3.7 billion) and was mainly into 20 major projects involving resorts and hotels. Employment in the Philippine tourism sector is currently just over 5 million workers. Compared to the previous year, the monthly figures for tourist arrivals has increased by 5.5 percent in 2017, with the current monthly figures at Philippine airports standing at 580,000 travelers. This will give an annual projected figure of 7 million tourist arrivals by air for 2017.
The latest issue of ASEAN Briefing Magazine titled, “How to Set Up in the Philippines“, is out now and available to subscribers as a complimentary download in the Asia Briefing Publication Store.
In this issue of ASEAN Briefing
- Political, Economic, and Social Introduction to the Philippines
- Entering the Philippine Market: Comparing Models
- Corporate Establishment in the Philippines: A Step-by-Step Guide
- Using Singapore as a Gateway to the Philippines