This section provides you with recent information on Philippines’ economic performance, economic prospects, trade and investments, politics and international relations and infrastructure.
After decades of weak economic growth, the Philippines gained fame in recent years as one of Asia’s tiger economies. During the last decades the country achieved significantly high annual rates of growth according to the World Bank. Key assets of the Philippines include its large young English speaking population, its geographically strategic location and its vast marine resources. The country is conveniently located for foreign investors as it is neighbouring Taiwan and Hong Kong in the north, Vietnam in the west and Malaysia and Indonesia in the south.
Despite the annual occurrence of severe typhoons, including the largest storm the world had ever seen in 2013 (typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda), the country managed to maintain economic growth. In 2017 the GDP based on purchasing power parity was estimated at US$ 8,200. Although GDP growth has remained steady during the last years at between 5 to 7% with key growth sectors being the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, real estate, manufacturing and oil and gas, the EIU projects a moderate annual GDP growth for the period 2017-2050, due to the country’s inability to promote rapid institutional change.
In 2016 presidential elections were held, replacing the liberal reform-oriented Ninoy Aquino with the hard-line and rather unconventional populist, Rodrigo Duterte. As President Duterte is still in the process of developing new policies and economic strategies for the country, it has to be seen what impact this will have on the economic outlook of the country and whether the previous path of reforms will be continued. At the moment his main strategy is a ‘war on drugs’ which has left over 5,000 suspected drug dealers and addicts dead.
Yet it is clear that some serious issues will need to be tackled by his administration. Firstly, raising social spending remains a major challenge, with a limited tax income due to tax evasion. Additionally the country’s infrastructure is very limited and outdated; hence the government will need to find ways to increase infrastructure investment. The Duterte administration is eyeing a closer relationship with China to enable to solve these issues. Lastly, the country needs to create more jobs for its quickly increasing population. In the past three decades the country has seen a major outflow of skilled labourers to overseas nations. Approximately 10% of the country’s population is working overseas to support their family that stays behind, remitting an annual US$26.9 billion.
Nevertheless, in the first five months of 2018, the GDP expanded by an impressive 6.8%, mainly due to the increase of public spending by the Duterte administration, fueling concerns over a potential overheating of the economy or increased levels of inflation.
103.3 Million (2016)
Philippine Peso (PHP)
|GDP at market prices||
$304 Billion (2016)
|Real GDP growth rate||
6.9 % (2016)
|GNI per capita||
|Doing Business In Index*||
113 out of 190 (2017)
111 out of 180 (2017)
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