According to UNCTAD's World Investment Report 2015, the Philippines is one of the top 10 recipients of foreign direct investment (FDI) in East and Southeast Asia. The Philippines received FDI inflows of USD5.72 billion in 2015.
The Philippines ranked 103rd in the World Bank's 2016 Doing Business rankings, down six places from 97th in the year prior. Despite a fall in its overall position, the rankings recognised reforms that the Philippines had enacted to make doing business easier. This included making starting a business easier by streamlining communications between the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Social Security System and thereby expediting the process of issuing an employer registration number.
Key facts about starting a business in the Philippines:
The Philippines's attractiveness as an investment location can be attributed to a number of factors, including its skilled workforce and large domestic market. Nevertheless, in order to make an informed decision, it is critical to understand the nuances of any local regime. The manner in which people conduct business in the Philippines may differ from the home countries of investors. Furthermore, variations on these distinctions may exist depending on the region and industry in which a company operates.
The Philippines's official language is Filipino. However, it is only spoken by around 55 per cent of the population. English is generally used for educational and commercial purposes.
Business attire is conservative. Punctuality is expected when doing business in the Philippines. A handshake is the typical business greeting and business cards will usually be exchanged after initial introductions.
Those looking to establish a business in the Philippines may look across Southeast Asia for alternative options. However, the Philippines can be differentiated on the following factors:
The Philippines's attractiveness as a foreign direct investment location can be attributed to its liberalised economy and access to the ASEAN markets. Nevertheless, businesses operating in the Philippines must remain aware of potential challenges. The government still restricts foreign ownership of companies, land and investment in specific sectors. Moreover, although improving, corruption remains a problem across the country; the Philippines ranked 95th on Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index 2015.
This guide has been developed to provide businesses with an overview of the Philippines, its legal regime, start-up and market entry considerations, tax and customs requirements and a general summary of the factors that may affect the decision to do business in the Philippines. However, the information contained in this document is generic in nature and you should not act or rely on it without obtaining specific professional advice.
Please note that the Global Business Guides may only be available in English.
|1||The Philippine Business Registry|
|2||Bureau of Internal Revenue|
|3||Department of Finance: Bureau of Customs|
|4||Bureau of Immigration|
|5||Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines|
|7||Department of Labour and Employment|
|1||UNCTAD World Investment Report|
|2||Doing Business Rankings|
|3||Employment Pass - Used PracticalLaw which is a legal service Grant Thornton subscribes to|
|4||Filipino Language Stats|
|5||12th Most Populous country|
|6||Infrastructure Spend 5% GDP|
|7||TI Corruption Perceptions Index|
Download Global Business Guide - Philippines (3.45MB, PDF)