A key consideration for most foreign investors is the ability to communicate effectively with their business partners. A savvy investor can only take advantage of a good investment climate or massive growth opportunity when he can communicate clearly to his local counterpart across the table.
This is where the Philippines derives one of its core strengths. English is widely spoken here and is one of the country’s official languages, together with Filipino. Even an Englishman can rightly feel at home. This is a big advantage for English-speaking foreign businessmen looking for a language-friendly country to grow their investments.
Recognizing this advantage, the Philippine government has been following a policy of laying out the red carpet for foreign investors, especially in the areas of business process outsourcing (BPO), IT services and eCommerce. The country has, in fact, become one of the top BPO hubs in the world.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) reports that inward foreign direct investments are expected to rise to USD 8.2 BN in 2021, after falling to USD 6.5 BN in 2020 because of the impact of the global COVID pandemic. FDIs previously hit a high of USD 9.9 BN in 2018.
The country’s economy is also expected to grow substantially to over USD 400.9 BN by 2021 from a GDP of US$376.80 BN in 2019. The EIU expects the government to focus on driving a post-pandemic economic recovery through its various ongoing infrastructure programs.
The Philippines is one of the founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and is considered one of the new economic tigers in Asia amid strong growth. As the second-most populous country in the ASEAN, the country has a large and steadily growing domestic market. It also has a huge number of overseas workers in several western countries, who create strong people-to-people connections between the Philippines and host countries. While the global pandemic has hit the economy hard, it has also created opportunities for the government and private sector to work together towards an early recovery.
Tony Turner is our Head – Client Relations (UK and European Union). Tony is a seasoned banker with a wealth of diverse global experience.
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