The Report: Philippines 2019


The Philippines’ cooling inflation, improved ease of doing business and increased openness to foreign participation are set to encourage more foreign direct investment. A wealth of infrastructure investment under President Rodrigo Duterte’s flagship Build Build Build programme should ease congestion, reduce regional inequality and further boost the flourishing tourism industry.

Favourable demographics, ongoing structural reforms, and increasing openness to foreign participation bode well for the prospects of the Philippine economy over the medium to long term. In 2019 cooling inflation as a result of easing commodity prices and the implementation of supply-side policies have improved business sentiment, while the general endorsement of President Rodrigo Duterte’s agenda in the mid-term Congressional elections paves the way for increased infrastructure investment under the flagship Build Build Build programme, which aims to ease congestion, lower transport costs and reduce regional inequality. As the need for imported materials for these projects grows, export diversification will be key to combating the widening trade imbalance. Tourism remains a priority growth sector, with a record number of visitors in 2018. As doing business in the country becomes easier, the Philippines is poised to become an increasingly attractive investment destination for years to come.

The report explores:

  • The prospects for de-escalating tensions in the West Philippine Sea and the role of Official Development Assistance in financing the Build, Build, Build agenda, with comments from Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines.
  • The economic impact of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) and the options for financing the Build Build Build programme, with the comments from Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez, Secretary of Finance.
  • The evolution of the US-Philippines military alliance and the rise of China as a key partner for trade and investment, with the comments of Teodoro Locsin, Secretary of Foreign Affairs.
  • Strategies to generate added-value and maintain international competitiveness in the business process outsourcing sector, with comments from Lito Tayag, Country Managing Director, Accenture Philippines; and Chair of the Board of Trustees, IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP).
  • How to ensure the Philippines remains attractive to international investors in light of plans to streamline incentives, with the comments from Charito Plaza, Director-General, Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).

The report also features interviews with key business leaders and policy-makers along with in-depth sector by sector analysis on the economy of the Philippines.

The publication is available for download to Oxford Business Group subscribers. To find out more about subscriptions options or to download the report from the Oxford Business Group website, please click the link below.

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