The Victorian branch of APBC recently got together for a networking function, hosted by APBC Vice President/VIC Neil Grimes. The event was held at the popular Gasolina venue in Melbourne’s South Wharf restaurant and entertainment precinct. Thank you to the venue owner David James for having us there. Event sponsor Mannerim Capital made sure guests enjoyed a delectable spread from the fabulous Gasolina menu.
More than 30 people attended the function to hear the Philippine Honorary Consul to Victoria, Felix Pintado, give an address focussing on the Filipino community in Victoria and doing business in the Philippines. Felix gave an insight as to how business can be done and what exciting benefits are available to make sound long term investments. Neil presented a summary of key economic data from the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry about the exciting opportunities for growth. Key statistics include, an expectation of growth of 6-9% p.a. over the next 10 years, continued improvements in international competitiveness and an expectation that the economy will rise to be 16th largest in the world by 2050. We were also honoured that the Chair of the Australia-ASEAN Council, Christine Holgate, attended the function.
The engine for growth is clearly the Philippines population, now in excess of 102 million. More than 50% of the population is of working age, and 10 million live and work outside the Philippines, and remitted in excess of US$29 billion in 2015. At home, more than 1 million people are now engaged in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector. This is the fastest growing sector in the nation and rapidly rising in its contribution to national wealth.
The positive trends for the future of the Philippines include a stable democracy, improving governance, strong macroeconomic fundamentals, peaceful industrial relations and a resurgence in manufacturing, including the downstream metals sector. Priority sectors for investment include, food processing, transport, telecoms and tourism, infrastructure via PPP projects, IT-BPO sector and automobile assembly, manufacture and components.