The Philippines’ strategic geographic location makes it a strong contender to be Asia’s leading regional transshipment and tourist hub. The presence of a readily available workforce, the existence of deep-water harbors and seaport terminals, and a campaign to open up the country’s skies for cargo underscores the country’s claim.
Global leaders in logistics (i.e. FedEx and United Parcel Services) and support service providers (i.e. Lufthansa Technik Philippines and Rolls Royce Engine Services Limitada, Inc.) have created their Asian hubs in the Philippines to service international clients plying the region’s shipping and air lane routes.
The Philippines is readily accessible from major travel capitals of the world.
The Philippines remains an undisputed source of quality products in Asia, ranging from semiconductors and electronic components for industry players such as Intel, Texas Instruments, Philips, Hitachi, Toshiba, and Fujitsu; advanced office equipment and telecommunications equipment such as Toshiba laptops, Panasonic cellular phones, and Epson printers; automotive parts like wiring harnesses, automotive electronics such as Anti-Skid Brake Systems and Car Body Electronics and manual transmission systems for Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Isuzu in ISO-certified environments; electro-hydraulic motion control systems that go to Boeing or Airbus commercial planes and steering, suspension and brake systems that provide the muscle and brawn for Formula One racecars.
The Philippines is home to international shipbuilder Tsuneishi Corporation whose dockyards strongly underscores Filipino capability in shipbuilding, which dates back to the era of the Manila-Mexico galleon trade. Tsuneishi ably delivers car carriers, tankers, container carriers, and up to 50,000t-type bulk carriers.
Maitland Smith, Roche Dubois, McGuire, Ralph Lauren, Thomasville , Donna Karan, Casa Armani, William Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pier 1, Habitat, Ikea and Christian Tortu – they and many others source quality furniture and furnishings from the Philippines .
Filipino designers have captured the interest, taste and imagination of buyers in leading trade fairs worldwide in High Point USA, International Furniture Fair Japan, Salone in Milan , in Singapore and the Middle East.
The Philippine garments industry exports to 110 countries and is a leading employer in the manufacturing sector. Polo, Liz Claiborne, Ann Taylor, Nautica, Philips Van Heusen, Victoria ‘s Secret, as well as Nike and Adidas are familiar global brands sourced here.
The Philippines is a viable alternative for MNCs seeking a cost-effective location for back-office functions.
With the distinct combination of quality human resource, end-to-end digital connectivity and the government’s strong support for the IT industry, the Philippines is now a formidable contender as Asia’s Shared Services Center for processes such as finance, accounting, human resource, IT solutions, and engineering design.
For almost two decades now, the Philippine animation industry has been a consistent supplier to international film producers in the United States .
The Filipino artist has had a hand in the creation of the world’s most popular cartoons and films. 2D and 3D animation for business and education are likewise available.
The country is strongly positioned as a regional center for Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Likewise, it offers strong potentials as a center for health care, retirement and hospital services.
The Philippines has one of the highest literacy rates in the region, i.e., 94.6%. Approximately 380,000 young men and women earn their college degrees annually. Of these, 100,000 are business majors while 70,000 earn their diplomas in engineering and other science-related courses.
The Gartner Research and Advisory Services Study dated 2004 indicated that the verbal skills in the Philippines with regard to clarity and understandability, was superior to that of India, Ireland and other offshore destinations.
At about the same time, the 2002 Global New Economy Index of the Meta Group cited the Philippines for the “excellent availability” of skilled IT workers and for their proficiency in mainframes, minicomputers and microcomputers as well as for their technical and business skills for ICT projects.
The PERC Survey ranked the Filipino worker consistently high in Asia in terms of quality, cost competitiveness and availability. The APEC survey of top corporations revealed that the Philippines remains a “location of choice due to its large pool of English-speaking and highly trainable manpower, which continue to be the driving force in attracting foreign capital to the economy”.
Conversant in English, at ease with Western culture, and further trained for specific systems operations and international corporate language, the Filipino has evolved as the ideal customer service representative for local and global companies answering calls from markets all over the world, North America in particular. Major contact center players in the Philippines cater to Fortune 500 companies, including the biggest global players in the high-technology sector.
All 16 regions in the country boasts of information technology or cyber parks, economic zones, and industrial estates.The National Capital Region alone hosts 17 investment sites, specializing in information technology applications, according to the Board of Investments and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority .
Cebu City’s investment locations include the Mactan Economic Zone, Cebu Cybertown IT Park, and the Cyber Light Industrial Park in Mactan Island, Cebu, the HDWF-WTCI IT Tower, Keppel Center and the Innove IT Plaza in the Cebu Business Park, JY Square IT Center in Lahug, Cebu City, KRC IT Zone in Mandaue City, Cebu, the South Reclamation Project in Talisay, Cebu City.You can learn more from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and the Board of Investments (BOI) websites.