Why invest in the Philippines?

Investing in the Philippines: sound politics and sturdy people

Filipino resiliency drives the Philippines’ growth.

There is a positive piece in all this Philippine political drama after all. Of all the Southeast Asian countries, Philippines is rated by US companies as the country having the most improved business climate.

According to a survey conducted by the US Chamber of Commerce and the American Chambers of Commerce in the ASEAN, the Philippines has the thumbs-up of the companies because of a more stable government and a political system, in general. Who would have thought that the spectacle of the government’s fight against corruption – with all its fuss comparable to afternoon telenovelas – is actually benefiting wonders to the economy. Other reasons cited included cheap labor, cheap housing costs, and the slowly but still improving infrastructural developments. The current business climate is indeed a good set-up for investing in the Philippines.

Although not stressed by the survey, I believe what is more noteworthy of the country is the Filipinos’ resiliency. This can be seen in Northern Mindanao for example, particularly in Cagayan de Oro. The city was badly battered when it was caught unaware by the first typhoon it experienced for more than five decades. Indeed, nothing can replace the lives that had been lost in the tragedy. But the city learned from it.

When Pablo came, the residential areas that had been affected by Pablo were evacuated, each family already expecting the deluge. Businesses and institutions have identified better and safer locations in the city, and operations are adjusted to easily flex in times of severe weather disturbances. Unemployed individuals were trained to have ready manpower in case of need. Even the power shortage of the previous years was studied. Bulk operations were moved to schedules with lesser power load needs. Localized sources for power were identified and developed.

This valuable characteristic of flexibility, coupled with an improved business climate in the country in general, should be the key of Kagay-anons – and the rest of the Philippines, at that – in grabbing the current opportunities to invite investments. Cagayan de Oro, although already a busy city and one of the major economic hubs in the Mindanao region, has still so much potential to still be more.

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