In recent years, Metro Manila has stepped out of the shadows of its Asian peers and has risen to prominence as a viable investment destination in the Asia-Pacific region. In almost every corner of the city, there are new structures on the rise as it gradually transforms into a hyperactive mega city. As the Philippines picked up some steam over the years with an increase in FDI and consistent GDP, Metro Manila has become an emerging global city like Seoul, Shanghai, and Jakarta. It has also been in the same list as Tokyo, New York, London, Paris, Chicago, Hong Kong, and Singapore for globally competitive cities.
What gives this city an edge in the Asian region?
The Philippines’ geographical position easily makes it a gateway to Asia, giving Manila the competitive edge over other cities in the region.
The Philippines’ central location between Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan, and Indonesia makes it the North and Pacific gateway to the ASEAN region. This places it at a much greater advantage for trade and industry, which some foreign investors have come to appreciate and realize with the surge of the country’s economy over the past few years. With the country’s geographical position and current economic standing, Manila has found itself back to the investment map. A good number of global companies and foreign investors consider the city as a viable business location and investment destination in Southeast Asia.
In recent years, the Philippine economy has been one of the fastest-growing in Asia, and Manila is reaping the benefits.
The Philippine economy is able to hold its own. Even when hit by the most destructive typhoon, it has shown resilience. Its GDP growth has been consistent thus far. And through macroeconomic reforms, various aspects of the economy have shown vast improvements, earning it favorable investment grade ratings and positive growth forecasts up until 2030 and beyond. Not only has it pulled in more foreign direct investments. It has also kept inflation and interest rates under control while also reducing debts and handling fiscal deficit better. Aside from the growth momentum of the BPO sector, the stream of OFW remittances has also given the country more than just foreign currency reserves. This has also fueled an increase in domestic consumption. These economic developments helped make Manila an even stronger economic hub and a more attractive investment location.
As a real 21st century city, Manila provides a cosmopolitan environment.
As the metropolis turns into a significant global business location and investment destination, various business districts have been developed. Other locations are also being transformed into a business hub, providing alternative locations. The business districts in different parts of Manila offer more than just viable office and commercial space. They’re designed as a mixed-use urban development as well. Residential options, retail components, and leisure outlets have been incorporated into the entire blueprint of this development, providing a cosmopolitan environment. In recent years, real estate developers have also built self-sustained communities through large-scale mixed-use township projects. As Manila aspires to become a top tourist destination and an even more attractive investment and business location, it has been home to many world-class hotels for guests and travelers. High-end casinos and entertainment centers have also become prominent structures in the metropolis. More sustainable urban developments and structures have led to a better working atmosphere and have vastly improved the living environment. These structures aren’t only built using environment-friendly materials and methods. In building a greener city or district, the focus has also been on functionality and efficiency.
While first-class living options can be found in the metropolis, Manila has maintained a relatively low cost of living.
World-class hotels and luxurious condominiums have become a common sight in the city’s skylines. Aside from high-end casinos and first-rate entertainment and leisure outlets, global brands have also come to Manila to provide the best retail and dining options. The best of the east and west can be found in the metropolis, but the cost of living is much lower compared to other mega cities in the world. This makes it a great place to live in for expats as well as foreign investors and businessmen.
The cost of doing business here is lower compared to other locations that offer modern office spaces and top-of-the-line solutions.
One of the benefits of setting up a business or operating an office here is the low overhead cost. Manila has been a prime spot for office and commercial spaces. With an increasing demand for these spaces, there’s a long list of developments currently on the pipeline to increase the stock and accommodate the needs. These commercial and office spaces are offered at competitive rates compared to available options in fully developed cities in other countries. There’s also a good number of PEZA-accredited buildings and structures in different parts of the metropolis that provide businesses plenty of benefits, both tax and non-tax incentives. Foreign investors are given other forms of incentives by the local government to support the growing industry. Manila can also provide global companies, SMEs, and large corporations even for highly skilled professionals and college graduates at lower salary rates than their counterparts’ abroad.
Manila is an abundant talent source since it’s home to the country’s top-performing universities and most prominent schools.
Aside from its flexible and sustainable workspaces and business-friendly environment, Manila ranked next to India’s Bangalore as a top outsourcing destination in the world also because of its labor force. With thousands of college graduates specializing in various field and courses such as IT, engineering, and accounting, Manila can provide the much-needed educated workforce. The country’s young population, apparently, has a significant impact on the sustained growth of various industries, considering its capacity to produce a younger, more dynamic workforce.
The country can develop Asia’s main techno center like India’s Bangalore.
From being a top outsourcing destination, the country can evolve into a techno hub. The robust BPO sector can be the springboard into developing the country’s own Silicon Valley. It already has the demographic advantage, the abundant talent source, and other resources. What the country needs is to create more tech-savvy workers and encourage technopreneurship through support from public-private partnerships and incentives. It also needs to develop skills for high-value research and development. Manila, being the main investment destination, can be at the heart of these initiatives.
The Philippines has developed a stronger affinity to Western culture compared to other Asian countries.
Not only can Filipinos communicate in English more fluently, but they’re also more familiar with the Western culture, which is a plus when working with foreign investors and global business counterparts. The country is also more open, flexible, and tolerant, making it a better host to outsiders. This makes Manila a great place to set up a business or plug in some investments. The city has also been a key MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions) destination because of these qualities, attracting more visitors to the country.
To give your business a competitive edge, it’s about time that you invest in reliable office technologies and top-end business solutions such as a good HR management system and payroll software. Talk to the Sprout.ph team today to learn more about your best options.