Philippines Briefing

Discover our latest insights into the Philippines including business news, regulatory updates and extensive data on the Philippines free trade, double tax agreements and foreign direct investment laws.

Officially known as the Republic of the Philippines, the Philippines is a sovereign Southeast Asian state in the western Pacific Ocean, consisting of an archipelago comprised of 7,107 islands. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan, and to the west across the South China Sea sits Vietnam. The Sulu Sea to the southwest lies between the country and the island of Borneo, and to the south the Celebes Sea separates it from other islands of Indonesia.

A newly industrialized country, the Philippines' economy has been transitioning from being agriculturally focused to one focused more on services and manufacturing. The agricultural sector employs close to 32 percent of the country's 38.1 million strong labor force, yet contributes to only 13.8 percent of Vietnam's GDP. In comparison, the industrial sector employs 13.7 percent of the workforce and accounts for 30 percent of national GDP.

On the other hand, the 46.5 percent of workers involved in the services sector are responsible for 56.2 percent of GDP. The economy is also heavily reliant on remittances, which has surpassed foreign direct investment as a source of foreign currency.

Filipino imports include electronic products, mineral fuels, machinery and transport equipment, iron and steel, textile fabrics, grains, chemicals and plastic. It's exports include semiconductors and electronic products, transport equipment, garments, copper products, petroleum products, coconut oil and fruits.

Major import partners of the Philippines include Japan (10.8 percent), United States (10.8 percent), China (10.1 percent), Singapore (8.1 percent), South Korea (7.3 percent), Thailand (5.8 percent), Saudi Arabia (5.4 percent), and Malaysia (4.4 percent). Major export partners include Japan (18.5 percent), US (14.8 percent), China (12.7 percent), Singapore (8.9 percent), Hong Kong (7.7 percent) and South Korea (4.6 percent).

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