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Insight: New report explores the Philippines’ plans to unlock investment to boost the recovery

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Philippines’ efforts to facilitate a swift recovery from the economic impact of Covid-19 by improving the business and investment climate are mapped out in a new report by the global research and advisory firm Oxford Business Group (OBG).

The Report: The Philippines 2021 shines a spotlight on the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Bill and its potential to strengthen the competitiveness of MSMEs and catalyse more private sector investment in the recovery phase. It also analyses the prospects for further investment-related reforms before the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term in 2022, particularly in the areas of retail and public utilities.  

In a special Digital Economy chapter, the report explores how businesses and key industries reacted to the sudden disruption of the pandemic, and highlights new growth opportunities in e-commerce and business process outsourcing (BPO). Looking ahead, it also analyses how increased competition in the telecoms sector from the imminent entry of the third operator might disrupt the market. 


Digital advances made in the financial services sector are a key focus. Here, OBG considers the way in which digital banking and cashless payments can improve both financial inclusion – a priority for the government – and bottom lines. 

In addition, the report will look in detail at the Philippines’ industrial sector, documenting how key segments, such as manufacturing, have accommodated disruptions to activity brought about by the pandemic. Licence-holders will also find details of the progress made in transitioning to Industry 4.0 and the growth of value-added production, in areas such as fast-moving consumer goods, on the back of investment and innovation.

Other topics examined include the country’s far-reaching infrastructure development drive, which is expected to regain momentum after lockdowns severely curtailed work, and is set to be buoyed by the government’s commitment to priority projects and the rising demand for transport connectivity and public utilities in the new normal. 

The Report: The Philippines 2021 contains an interview with President Duterte, together with a detailed sector-by-sector guide for investors. It also features a wide range of interviews with other high-profile personalities, including: Christopher Po, Executive Chairman, Century Pacific Food; Ramon Lopez, Secretary of Trade and Industry; Marc Carrel-Billiard, Global Senior Managing Director and Technology Innovation Lead, Accenture Labs; Benjamin Diokno, Governor, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; and Rubén Camba, South-east Asia Director, Acciona.

Commenting ahead of the launch, Oliver Cornock, OBG’s Editor-in-Chief, said that a decade of fast-paced growth, combined with new investor interest, were expected to support the Philippines’ post-pandemic economic recovery.

“The Philippines is one of the fastest-growing economies of the past decade, averaging 6.4% growth per year from 2010 to 2019,” he said. “With efforts gaining pace to address the challenges that stalled momentum in 2020, the country looks to be well placed for a swift rebound.”

Patrick Cooke, OBG’s Regional Editor for Asia, added that the Philippines held many attractions for investors eyeing new opportunities, which range from a large, youthful population to an ambitious project pipeline.

“The country’s far-reaching infrastructure agenda and focus on priority projects will produce openings for both the international investment community and local businesses, while the accelerated pace of digital transformation during the pandemic period bodes well for the long-term competitiveness of the business sector as we cautiously look towards the recovery phase,” he said. 

The Report: The Philippines 2021 marks the culmination of more than 12 months of field research by a team of analysts from Oxford Business Group. The publication assesses trends and developments across the economy, including those in macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and ICT. 

The Report: The Philippines 2021 has been produced in collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry, V&A Law, Rajah Travel Corporation and Reyes Tacandong & Co. It is available online and in print. 

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