Doing business in the Philippines

Start-up nation alert: Doing business in Manila

Mark Phillips Mark Phillips

It looks like Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv need to welcome another member to their start-up club soon: Manila, Philippines’ thriving capital, is rising at a quick pace on the digital innovation map.

With a ready supply of IT talent, tax incentives for technology companies and a Start-Up Week promoting innovation labs to investors each year, Manila is well-positioned as a satellite for Australia’s tech businesses.

Atlassian, Australia’s most recent poster kid for start-up success, is one of the many Australian tech businesses to have chosen Manila for a key international office. Their decision was partly motivated by the highly skilled workforce available onsite, but we suspect some of it was directly impacted by the Philippines’ fast-growing economy.

The pace of economic development is easy to feel in the capital, with tourism revenue fuelling the growth of the middle class, and transforming the local economy.

Comparison of Manila and Australia across key statistics

When considering expansion to the Philippines, businesses need to review Filipino business culture which includes a focus on hierarchy, a difficulty for Filipino’s to say ‘no’ and what can be considered inefficiencies designed around the decision making process. Effectively managing business conduct risk is prime which while being a risk can be effectively managed. Key opportunities are linked to technology and tourism, other dynamic sectors include mining, manufacturing, and infrastructure.  

Grant Thornton advises mid-size businesses in a variety of industries regarding their expansion to Asia. If you’d like to discover what opportunities Manila can bring to your growing business, contact us for a free Asia Fit workshop today.