Despite having received much criticism in Western media for the countries fight against illegal drugs and corruption, the island archipelago of the Philippines with its strident President Rodrigo Duterte continues to offer attractive business opportunities.
The climate of the Philippines can be described as mostly tropical, in higher altitudes of the mountains as subtropical. The average annual temperature in the Philippines is 26.5 °C, with only slight seasonal temperature fluctuations. The amount of precipitation varies quite drastically in the course of a year, which is why a general distinction is made between the dry season and the rainy season. Occasional typhoons affect the entire country, but with varying degrees of intensity and at different times of the year.
The country is a US-style presidential democracy with a bicameral system. The president enjoys extensive powers, but can only be elected for one single term of 6 years. The judiciary is largely independent. Although conflicts with the Muslim minority on the South Island of Mindanao continue to smolder; security & stability, especially on the main island of Luzon, are generally provided.
The magazine "The Economist" lists Vietnam and the Philippines as the healthiest economies in the region. If one takes a closer look at the Philippines, it quickly becomes clear why the country has created one of the most dynamic economies within Southeast Asia in recent years.
There are many advantageous economic conditions: Stable and relatively low inflation rates, a comparatively low level of debts, a favorable cost structure and a young, English-speaking, and increasingly consume-oriented population. All these factors contribute to a steady economic growth of 6.54% on average over the last 5 years. The gross domestic product at the end of 2018 was USD 330.9 billion. Compared to 2007 with the GDP rating at USD 149.36 billion, it has thus more than doubled over the past ten years. This positive development contributes to the fact that the Philippines is now considered part of the same league as the emerging East and Southeast Asian tiger economies such as Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong. This development is mainly due to the expansion of investment in construction and infrastructure, production increases in manufacturing, high consumer spending and the overall strong service sector. In 2017, 25.4 % of the total labor force was employed in agriculture, 18.3 % in industry and 56.3 % in services. The total number of employees was estimated at 42.8 million in 2017, whereas 39.9% of whom are women.
The unemployment rate in 2017 was 5.7%, but many jobs remain informal and underemployment is widespread. For the foreseeable future, the strongest drivers of further economic growth will continue to be the expansion of the service sector (which includes the important tourism sector) and the local industry. The government has recognized that this growth must be supported by a steady expansion of the infrastructure, especially the expansion of the electricity supply.
Corruption and nepotism remain a challenge for economic development and the attractiveness of the Philippines as a business location. According to Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, the Philippines ranked 111th out of 180 countries in 2017, with 34 out of a maximum of 100 points.