We all know that the Philippines has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, expanding by an incredible 6.1% in the first quarter of this year. In a relatively short amount of time, the Philippine economy has changed almost beyond recognition. Money is flooding into the nation, many are enjoying a higher standard of living than they would ever have dreamed possible, and opportunities are cropping up all over the place for eager entrepreneurs. While growth is generally occurring in many sectors, there are a few key industries which are shoring up and boosting this economic miracle – the fastest growing of which are explored below.
In many ways, the Philippines can attribute its astonishing and meteoric rise to the speed with which it saw and grasped the opportunities offered by the burgeoning global technology market. As the graph shows, over half of all Filipino exports are electrical goods. Of the 35% market share titled ‘others’, a large proportion involves diverse outsourced services concerning electronics and technology (on which more later). So impressive has the economic gifts of the electronics industry been that many attribute to it the huge reduction in national debt which the Philippines has recently been able to negotiate, as well as offering opportunities to escape debt and poverty for many ordinary Filipinos. The manufacture and servicing of electronics is something the world direly needs, and the Philippines are reaping the rewards of high demand. However, the electronics industry has not escaped criticism. Some have levelled accusations of exploitation and even human rights abuses in Filipino electronics factories – something which industry leaders have proven reluctant to discuss.
IT Business Process Outsourcing
The Filipino IT Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry is experiencing enormous growth at the moment. So much so that the Philippines is fast becoming the global IT-BPO hub. Government investments in communications infrastructure, combined with a diverse talent pool and competitive tender prices has seen companies from all over the world outsourcing their IT work to the Philippines. For those who aren’t in the know, Business Process Outsourcing involves the contracting of third parties to undertake certain business processes. Commonly outsourced processes include human resources, accounting, and call centre services. In the case of the Philippines, it is the outsourcing of IT processes which is really bringing in not only plenty of work and money, but also foreign interest and potential investment. As a rapidly growing industry – albeit one which relies to a certain extent on foreign businesses – this is a very important and exciting sector for the Philippines.
The coal industry is going through some interesting times at the moment, with health and safety failings combined with environmental concerns seeing the biggest Filipino coal companies negotiating some tricky ground (both literally and ethically). However, many are predicting that Filipino coal could experience a major resurgence over the next few years. The major reason for this is that China, one of the world’s largest economies, is incredibly coal-hungry, using an absolutely phenomenal amount of the fuel every year. While this is not precisely the case as of now, many experts believe that our relative proximity to China, combined with that nation’s voracious appetite for cheap coal, could see the Filipino coal industry going through some serious expansion.
The Philippines is currently making a pretty big name for itself in the automobile world. The Filipino auto industry began 2016 with an absolutely incredible growth of 27.6%, and continues to grow at considerable speed. The reason for this is likely the increased ability of ordinary Filipinos to afford cars, combined, of course, with the newly enhanced infrastructure which allows for easier vehicular access to most of the nation. However, increased foreign interest in the Philippines and their potential for both manufacturing and marketing big-name branded cars cannot be discounted. Toyota and Mitsubishi have notably diverted considerable resources into their Philippines branches, and been rewarded with a sharp upturn in sales. The mechanical expertise located within the Philippines also makes it an increasingly attractive place for car manufacturers, and it may even be possible that the Philippines could start producing and exporting its own cars from a home-grown auto brand if the industry continues to swell at its current rate.
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