Business Philippines

The Philippines: Must-Know Business Info

With more than seven thousand islands to choose from, the Philippines can suit everyone’s preferences when it comes to enjoying the sea. Home to many wonderful white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, stunning rice terraces, world-class diving and surfing, the Philippines is slowly becoming a must-visit destination.

But what if you want to cut the strings of your job, take off to the Philippines and chill there for an indefinite number of months ? Unless you are rich, you are going to need some income. Yep, you would need to do some business over there as well, or at least know how to stay in touch with your homeland in order to be able to live from some passive income. No need to worry though, we wrote this short list of essential info in order to help you.

OFFICE HOURS

Usually Mon-Fri 8am-5pm. Some private sector offices are open Sat 9am-12am.

CODES OF CONDUCT

Because the weather is almost always warm and humid, a shirt with a tie can be worn for business visits. Formal wear for Filipino men includes the a long shirt made from pineapple fibers (which is not tucked into trousers!).

Peolple form the Philippines have an American business style and the English language is widely spoken. The best months for business visits are from October to May. Unless you have urgent business matters to attend to, business visits around Christmas and Easter are not recommended as delays tend to be the rule rather than the exception.

ECONOMY

The coconut palm tree gives so many different things to the culture and daily living in the Philippines. Through the centuries, filipinos have used coconut trees for just about anything: the coconut meat provided them with nourishment, the leaves were utilized to weave wicker container and mats, and the blossoms on the trees created sap which was utilized to make syrups. Before huge factories and companies began mass producing the oils, people learned how to make the oil on their own through boiling the coconut milk.

Due to globalization, this marvelous oil can now be found on the shelves of supermarkets in just about every country in the world, and is called by many different names: “coconut oil”, “oleo de coco”, “olio di cocco”, the list goes on and on.

Besides coconuts and coconut oil, the agricultural sector also produces rice, corn, sugar cane and bananas as the main crops. The export of timber has been discontinued since 1990 due to deforestation; There is a small mining industry and offshore oil activity. Most recent economic development has been in the industrial field.

The Tourism Promotions Board provides info, assistance and guidance to meeting planners and incentive travel organizers.

TRADING PARTNERS

Mainly the following countries: USA, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and, last but not least, China.

TRADE BALANCE

Imports: grains and fuels, electronic products, raw materials, transport machinery and equipment.

Exports: coconut oil, garments, electronic products, transport gear, copper products.

KEEPING IN TOUCH

Net cafes are quite common across the Philippines. Access is cheap and usually fairly fast. WiFi is also usually easy to find, available in many hotels and coffee shops. The main telecommunication companies offer realistically priced 3G gain access to via smartphones.

Mobile phone coverage is satisfactory, other than in mountainous areas and distant places. There exists 3G coverage in many urban areas. Roaming agreements exist with international mobile phone companies, but it is cheap and straightforward to buy a local SIM. International phone calls can be made on cell phones, but the cheapest way is through a Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service: Skype is your friend!

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