Philippines - Export Britain

Export Britain


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Largest city
Quezon City

Administrative divisions
17 regions, 81 provinces

Peso (PHP)

300,000 km2

(2013) 99,255,500

Calling code

Official language

Latest Business Opportunities

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Ease of trading across borders

Importing a standard container of goods into Philippines requires:



The national economy of the Philippines is the 39th largest in the world, and is also one of the emerging markets in the world. A newly industrialised country, the Philippine economy has been transitioning from one based on agriculture to one based more on services and manufacturing. The Philippine economy is expected to become the 16th-largest economy in the world, 5th-largest economy in Asia and the largest economy in the Southeast Asian region by 2050. The economy has weathered global economic and financial downturns better than its regional peers due to minimal exposure to troubled international securities, lower dependence on exports, relatively resilient domestic consumption, and a rapidly expanding business process outsourcing industry.

Economic snapshot (% annual growth rate)

GDP 6.8 7.2 5.9
Export of goods and services 8.9 0.8 6.7
Import of goods and services 5.3 4.3 6.6
Inflation 3.2 2.9 4.3
Short-Term interest rates (%) 4.0 2.4 4.5
Exchange rate (per £) 65 66 60
Population 1.7 1.7 1.6
Unit labour cost 1.0 -2.4 2.2
Source: Oxford Economics

Economic outlook

Despite the typhoon in November, the Philippines’ economy expanded by 1.5% in Q4 2013 on the back of surprisingly resilient private consumption. Net exports also contributed significantly, with exports much stronger than imports at the end of the year. The Philippines is anticipated to be one of the best performing economies in the Asia-Pacific region in 2014, second only to China, growing 6.3% in 2014, reflecting continuing strong growth in private consumption and the external sector contributing positively to growth. In addition, reconstruction after the typhoon is likely to lift government expenditure.

Trade outlook

Since 1980s, the Philippines have opened their economy to foreign markets, and established a network of free trade agreements with several countries. The US is one of the Philippines top trading partner. The Philippines largely imports electronic products, mineral fuels, machinery and transport equipment, iron and steel, textile fabrics, grains, chemicals, plastic. The largest importers into the Philippines include Japan, China, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

SWOT analysis

Successful reforms in the financial and public sectors.
Poor Infrastructure. Corruption.
Fastest Growing Economy in Asia. Top destination for services, specifically IT business process outsourcing sector.
Shortages of skills.

Philippines's trade with the UK

Sector segmentation growth

Sectors to watch:
  • sector
  • sector
  • manufacturing
  • manufacturing

Fastest-growing exporters into Philippines

1 Chile
2 Morocco
3 Poland
4 China
5 Brazil
6 Cambodia
7 India
8 Kenya
9 Turkey
10 South Korea

Total merchandise trade - Leading import partners

Total merchandise trade - leading import partners
Opportunities for UK businesses

The Philippines is known as the ‘Rising Tiger of Asia’ with growth outpacing its other ASEAN neighbours. The Philippines is one of the countries in Asia enjoying economic success opening up a wide range of opportunities. The Philippines offers numerous opportunities for UK businesses with a market of 103 million people. These are highlighted in the Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) which identifies priority investment areas which the Government is actively promoting. The current IPP lists opportunities in infrastructure projects, knowledge-based services such IT services, energy, green projects, iron and steel, and hospital/medical services. 

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