Philippines - Country Information


Strong economic fundamentals

The Philippines has seen strong annual GDP growth of 6 - 7% from 2012 till 2016, driven by both consumption and investment. In 2013, Philippines’ credit rating was raised one level to investment grade by Fitch, S&P and Moody's. In 2014, S&P further upgraded its credit rating to one that is higher than Brazil, India and Spain. In December 2017, Fitch raised the country’s credit rating yet again to BBB, forecasting growth of 6.8% in 2018 and 2019.


Support from remittances

An estimated 10% of Philippines' population live or work abroad, generating US$31.1 billion in remittances in 20161. The value of remittances has been steadily rising and this trend is expected to persist in the medium term, supporting consumption across the archipelago.


Infrastructure opportunities

The government embarked on an ambitious Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) Programme in 2010, across various sectors including aviation, infrastructure, transport, water, healthcare and education. There has been a steady pipeline of projects since then, with 15 awarded projects, 2 other projects under procurement, 3 projects for government approval, 3 projects under review and 15 projects under development as of December 2017.


Venture to the Philippines

Setting up

Singapore firms can enter the Philippine market through 100% foreign-owned enterprise (for industries that are not included in the negative list), joint venture agreements or a business cooperation contract with a local partner. Some investment areas/activities such as food processing and ownership of commercial buildings have foreign ownership caps of 40% to 60%.

Land ownership

Only Filipinos can own land, but leases for government-owned and privately-owned properties are available.

Repatriation of profits

Capital and profits may be freely repatriated between both countries.


1: World Bank


Useful Links

FAQs on doing business in Southeast Asia

Find the answers to all your questions on industries with the most potential, navigating potential pitfalls, leveraging government support and more.

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The Trump effect on doing business in Southeast Asia

Ivan Tan, our Group Director for Southeast Asia, explains what the new US under Trump means for Singapore companies looking to invest in Southeast Asia.

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ASEAN Webinar: Opportunities for you in Southeast Asia

Click here to watch the highlights.



Interview with The Business Times

Ivan Tan, our Group Director for Southeast Asia, speaks to The Business Times on why Southeast Asia’s strong demand for infrastructure and consumer goods and services will continue driving the region’s growth.

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ASEAN still beckons

A growing middle class, increasing integration and strong ties to China’s growth engine are set to fuel growth in the region. Our Group Director for Southeast Asia shares why “ASEAN still beckons".

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The Philippines is divided into three island groups: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. These are divided into 17 regions, 81 provinces, 144 cities, 1,491 municipalities, and 42,028 barangays (the smallest administrative division in the Philippines).

Population: 104.3 million (est. July 2017)

Ease of Doing Business Ranking: 113rd (June 2017)

Economic Freedom Ranking: 58th (2017)

Trading Partner Ranking: 13th

Bilateral Trade:S$15.5 billion (2016)

Source: CIA World Factbook

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Manila is the capital and the second largest city of the Philippines. It is one of 16 cities which, along with the municipality of Pateros, make up Metro Manila, the National Capital Region, whose overall population is almost 13 million.

Population: 1.78 million (2015)



Cebu City, the oldest city in the Philippines, is the capital of the island province of Cebu. Cebu is one of the most developed provinces in the Philippines, and Cebu City is the centre of commerce, trade, education and industry in the Visayas region of the Central Philippines. Cebu City, together with four neighbouring cities (Danao City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City and Talisay City) and eight other local government units, forms the Cebu Metropolitan Area.

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Mactan Island is the second busiest airport in the Philippines.

Population:951,000 (Cebu City, 2015)



Davao City in Mindanao is the metropolitan centre of Metro Davao, the country's third most populous metropolitan area, and the largest city by land area in the Philippines with a total land area of 2,444 km2. Davao City is the main trade, commerce, and industry hub of Mindanao and the regional centre for Davao Region.

Population: 1.63 million (2015)