About the Philippines

Key Statistics 2015
GDP $291 billion1
GDP per capita (PPP) $2,8581
GDP Growth 5.8%1
Total Investment 20.8%1
US Exports to Philippines $7.9 billion2
US Imports from Philippines $10.2 billion2
Population 102 million1
1. IMF World Economic Report (April 2016) - Philippines
2. U.S. Census Bureau - Trade in Goods with Philippines

Committee Programs in the Philippines

The Council, via our bilateral arm the US-Philippines Business Committee, leads annual business missions to the Philippines. Over a two-three day period the delegates meet with the top leadership of the Philippines government, U.S. Embassy, private sector, academics and other "thought leaders". Additionally, the Council hosts regular monthly member roundtable discussions in Manila with key Philippine Policy makers.

Since the 1990s, the Council has fielded a permanent office in Manila. In October 2013, Elizabeth Magsaysay-Crebassa became Senior Country Representative-Philippines, bringing with her a portfolio of business experiences across several industries in the Asia Pacific, notably Southeast Asia. Her combined local and ASEAN perspectives allow her to identify local and regional opportunities and synergies. The operation's Philippine Representative, Evelyn Mariano, brings a wealth of Philippines experience and important connections to the benefit of Council members. Ms. Mariano is available to members to assist in formulating advocacy strategy, communicating with government officials, arranging meetings for members, clarifying and reporting on government policy and actions, and responding to all member requests in the Philippines.

Committee Programs in the United States

The Council continues to regularly host events and dialogues with visiting Philippine government officials and Philippine business tycoons in Washington, New York City and other cities throughout the United States. Recent Council programs in the United States have included such Filipino officials as: President Benigno S. Aquino III, Vice President Jejomar Binay, Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima, Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory L. Domingo, Senator Koko Pimente, DMCI Holdings President Isidro Consunji and many others. 

Additionally, the Council maintains excellent relationships with the U.S. Department of State and the Philippine Embassy in Washington. We regularly host members discussions with U.S. based desk officers and with visiting officials from the U.S. Embassy Manila. The Council also conducts meetings with the Ambassador of the Philippines to the United States and his economic team over quarterly member coffee meetings.

Success Stories in the Philippines

The US-ASEAN Business Council has been at the forefront of supporting the efforts of the American business community to do business in the Philippines. The Council has successfully advocated for the Philippines to adopt policy reforms to permit greater foreign investment in domestic energy sector, liberalize the telecommunications industry and address issues related to corruption and governance. In 2008, a US power company successfully made a $1 billion investment in the Philippines electricity industry. With strong support from the private sector, the Philippines passed one of the first comprehensive national renewable energy laws in ASEAN to attract new investment into this emerging growth area. In 2009, the Philippines further liberalized its telecommunication industry to enable the sector to continue to support the development of the Philippines's world class BPO industry.

Country Summary

The Philippines is a nation of nearly 100 million people. Since its independence in 1946, the Philippines has seen periods of both economic and political progress and difficulties. Its recent history has seen the Philippines political system become more democratic and less authoritative in nature. However, with this evolution challenges related to corruption and governance have grown. The Philippines economy has seen progress in terms of the development of several industries, including telecommunications, agriculture, power, and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) to support economic growth. At the same time, challenges related to inadequate infrastructure (health, education, and transport) have also been significant constraints on the society. In recent years, neighboring ASEAN nations have been growing faster than the Philippines and the Philippines is one of the few countries in the region that has registered increases in both GDP growth and the number of people living in poverty at same time.