Buying property in the Philippines is a bet on economic and demographic trends. The archipelago is not just Southeast Asia’s second most populous country with over 100 million people. It’s also the region’s fastest growing as of this year. Because of this, the nation will see its economic and political sway rise more than perhaps any of its neighbours. Investors are now flocking to The Philippines to benefit from its expected growth in influence. Despite negative media attention, mostly related to its drug war, the Philippines has many positive attributes. There are several things which should help its economy rise faster than its competitors in Asia.
First, the Philippines has a rare combination of skilled, English speaking labor and low wages. Multinational firms are able to find English-speaking workers at a lower cost here than almost anywhere else on the planet. This has lead, and will continue to lead, foreign companies choosing to invest in the Philippines over other countries. Especially, those who are looking for tech support and call-center staff, but increasingly everything else. Vietnam, for example, benefits from its low wages at time when China’s are increasing. But its talent pool is not as wide nor as fluent in English as the Philippines.
Second, the Philippines receives a very high amount of remittances from abroad. Many English-speaking workers choose to find employment in higher paying countries such as the United States, Malaysia, and Australia. Business process outsourcing is one of the country’s fastest growing sectors, with call-center firms like Convergys among its largest foreign investors. Third, the Philippines is friendly toward foreign investment. This is not only true in the case of foreigners being able to buy property, but also in terms of owning a business, buying stocks, and having the ability to get a long-term visa. A relative openness gives the nation an edge over neighbors in the region0such as Indonesia, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Places to Invest in the Philippines There’s over 7,000 islands in the Philippines. With a population of over 100 million people, it would be impossible to cover everywhere in the country. Manila is obviously important as not only the nation’s capital, but one of the largest cities on earth with over 18 million living in the metro. It has many different areas, each with their own prices, vibes, pros, and cons. Second tier cities like Cebu or Davao are also worth considering for investment. The former is a bit easier to navigate, with Cebu having better access and more facilities wanted by foreigners. Davao is the bigger of the two.
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