Virtual Philippines - Biz Guides

The Philippines - A Guide to Successful Business plus Business Directory

This is a book written by members of the international business community in the Philippines and for the international business community.

The Philippines as a country in which to work, invest and do business is often misunderstood by the casual observer. Yet many companies - small businesses as well as large multinationals have set up and thrived in the local environment.

To the many who live and work here, this country is regarded as "Asia's best kept secret" and indeed Manila has often topped the polls of favored places for expatriate executives and their families. World-class beach resorts and small idyllic mountain hideaways are all within easy reach.

Certainly there are many who believe that the full potential of the Philippines and its people remains waiting to be tapped. Recent history has not been kind and the first wave of export-led industrial growth that created the Asian miracle over the past forty years largely swept by the Philippines.

Yet there is optimism in the air. The government of President Macapagal Arroyo is held to be dedicated to achieving real reform. Already change is noticeable. There is a firm commitment to lowering the remaining tariff barriers and bringing the Philippines into the new global economy of the 21st century. More industries are being opened slowly to foreign investment and the administration is revamping its investment guidelines and incentives to ensure the Philippines retains, and indeed - enhances, its competitive edge.

Manila is strategically located at the center of the Asian growth rim and within easy flying time to most Asian capitals. Australia, Europe, and the United States are all within a single hop. With a well educated workforce and probably the best English speaking population in Asia, more and more companies are finding the Philippines an ideal location for their Asian regional headquarters, as a regional transshipment or warehousing center, for IT development and component manufacturing.

The Philippines is home to some eighty million people. More than 10 million live in Manila. It is a consumer society and recent changes to the retailing laws have created new opportunities for foreign chain stores and brands that many have been quick to exploit.

Above all, the Philippines is a friendly place in which to live and to work. Yes, there are frustrations - but these abound wherever cultures mix. Those of us who are here for the "long haul" are convinced that the advantages of being here far outweigh the disadvantages.

Those of us who call the Philippines our home, invite you to join us. Hopefully this small book will help guide your way to success.