As the capital of the Philippines, Manila is the seat of government and serves as the country’s economic, administrative and social centre. More accurately referred to as Metro Manila or the National Capital Region, the city consists of several business sub-divisions, namely Makati, Ortigas, Bonifacio Global City, and Quezon City. The city is the third biggest metropolis in the world and is also one of the most densely populated cities globally with over 12.8 million residents.
Besides housing the country’s vital sea ports, Manila is also the hub for several industries such as chemicalstextiles, electronic goods, food & beverage, textiles chemical manufacturing and tobacco products. processing. The city clocked the highest regional GDP growth in 2017 at 12.1 percent. It is the largest contributor to the Philippines economy, generating nearly 32.3% of the country’s GDP in 2020.
Companies located in Metro Manila will have no problems finding suitable talents with the strong supply of talent and higher education levels of the population in the region. The region holds opportunities for companies in the consumer, construction, infrastructure, urban solutions, and technology-related sectors.
Located in the Southeastern Mindanao region of Davao, Davao City serves as regional capital. Davao City houses over 1.6 million residents, holding the region’s largest population, as well as regional government offices. The city is surrounded by neighbouring provinces to the north, west and south, while the Davao Gulf bounds Davao’s eastern coastline. As such, Davao City is an important gateway to the Gulf, and has established overland, air and shipping trade routes over the years. Davao Sasa Port, one of the region’s crucial government-operated sea port is located in Davao City. In 2020, the Davao region’s Gross Regional Domestic Product was S$22.3 billion, ranking fifth highest across the Philippines in terms of its per-capital GRDP.
Major industries that can be found in the Davao region include agriculture, business process outsourcing (BPO) sectors, cement & steel manufacturing, food & beverage, ICT, and mining & quarrying. Davao’s rapid economic growth has contributed to rise in wages, primarily in Davao City, where average wages (S$895) are the highest in the region. The region holds opportunities for companies in the agri-trade, infrastructure, and urban solutions sectors.
Located over 120-km north of Manila, New Clark City is a planned community in Central Luzon, aimed at de-congesting the Philippines’ densely populated capital. Currently under development, the city is estimated to cover a total area of 93km2 and house up to 2 million residents.
New Clark City is expected to become a confluence of industry and agriculture, a smart city with sustainability at its core. Led by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, the development of New Clark City will lead to a pollution-free and disaster resilient city where nature, lifestyle, business, education, and industry converge into a global city. The city will also see the establishment of satellite offices of government agencies in a 220-hectare National Government Administrative Center, and infrastructure to support innovation and technology development, such as the Agro-Industrial Hub and National Seed Technology Park.
Envisioned to be a sustainable and green city, more than half the city will be made of spacious open spaces for upland farming and forest reserves. Large areas of the city will also be walkable, and public utilities will use greener energy sources such as solar energy, liquefied natural gas, and waste-to-energy facilities. New Clark City is currently in its first phase of development and is targeted for completion in 2065. The massive city development project holds opportunities for companies in the infrastructure, smart cities, technology-related, and urban solutions sectors.
With a population of close to 4 million, Cebu is located in the Philippines’ Central Visayas region, which comprises Cebu Island and over 150 smaller islands and islets. Cebu City, the port capital, is the country’s oldest city, and serves as an important centre of commerce, trade, and education for the Visayas region. Cebu has a growing economy that is largely due to industry investments and an expanding service sector. The city has also seen a surge in tourism that has contributed to growth in the construction sector for hospitality, malls and real estate. The region holds opportunities for companies in the consumer, infrastructure and urban solutions sectors.