The Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) represents the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) at the Embassy of the Philippines in Seoul, Korea. Its principal tasks are: to promote Philippine export products and services in Korea, secure Korean investments to the Philippines and encourage Korean retirees to make the Philippines their second home. PTIC provides the following services:

    Assistance to Korean Importers:
  • Information on Philippine products and services
  • Identify Philippine suppliers
  • Arrange business meetings in the Philippines
  • Assist in attending trade fairs in the Philippines
    Assistance to Korean Retirees:
  • Information on the Philippine retirement program
  • Arrange meetings and visits to the Philippine Retirement Authority
  • Advice on how to comply with requirements
    Assistance to Korean Investors:
  • Information on investment laws, incentives, registration
  • Identify investment opportunities
  • Arrange meetings and site visits in the Philippines
  • Advice on how to do business in the Philippines

Philippine Trade and Investment Center

Embassy of the Philippines
#5-1 Itaewon-dong,
Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea
Tel. (82-2) 798-2502
Fax (82-2) 798-2504
DTI Websites
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
Board of Investments (BOI)
Center for International Trade Expositions & Missions (CITEM)
Intellectual Property Office (IPO)
Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)
Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA)
Other Websites
Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA)
Bureau of Customs (BOC)
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)
Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD)
Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
Central Bank / Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)
Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines (CFIP)
Clark Development Corporation (CDC)
Department of Agriculture (DA)
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
Department of Finance (DOF)
National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)
National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB)
Philippine Tariff Commission
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI)
Philippine Exporters Confederation (PHILEXPORT)
PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority (PIA)
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Semiconductor & Electronics Industries in the Philippines (SEIPI)
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority

1990 2000 2010 2016
World view

Population, total (millions)





Population growth (annual %)





Surface area (sq. km) (thousands)





Population density (people per sq. km of land area)






Life expectancy at birth, total (years)





Fertility rate, total (births per women)






GDP (current US$) (billions)





GDP growth (annual %)





Inflation, GDP deflator (annual %)





Agriculture, value added (% of GDP)





Industry, value added (% of GDP)





Services, etc., value and added(% of GDP)





Exports of goods and services (% of GDP)





Imports of goods and services (% of GDP)





Gross capital formation (% od GDP)





Revenue, excluding grants (% of GDP)





Net lending (+) / net borrowing (-) (% of GDP)





States and markets

Time required to start a business (days)





Domestic credit provided by financial sector (% of GDP)





Tax Revenue (% of GDP)





Military expenditure (% of GDP)





Mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people)





Individuals using the Internet (% of population)





High- technology exports (% of manufactured exports)





Statistical Capacity score (Overall average)





2016 (USD) 2017 (USD)









Merchandise Trade in US$ million
Top Philippine Exports To Korea (as of 2017)

Electronic integrated circuits
Bananas, including plantains, fresh or dried
Unrefined copper
Parts and accessories suitable for use with machines of headings
Electrical transformers
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals

Top Philippine Imports From Korea (as of 2017)

Electronic integrated circuits
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals
Other aircraft, spacecraft
Copper wire
Machines and mechanical appliances having individual functions
Motor cars and other motor vehicles

Philippine Products And Services For Promotion in Korea

Electronic parts & components
Garments & fashion accessories
Food products
Giftwares, house accessories, holiday decors
Organic & natural products
Construction materials
IT services, ESL training


Filipinos have become accustomed to 2 Korean phenomenal waves: first is ��halyu��, Korean soft power that has captivated strong followings in other Asian countries as well and second, the big wave of Koreans that come to the Philippines to work, visit, live or study. In 2008, there were about 1,000 Korean companies doing business along with over 630,000 tourists, 92,000 residents and retirees, and 100,000 students learning English during their school breaks. Why the Philippines?

*Philippine Trade & Investment Center, Embassy of the Philippines in Seoul 15 June 2009

Human Resources

The Philippines is the world��s 3rd largest English ? speaking country of 90 million people, friendly to foreigners and long exposed to western culture. Mostly Christians of mixed Indo-Malay, Chinese and Spanish background with 94.6% literacy rate and 70% English proficiency, they are highly-trainable, creative and adaptable to the demands of global markets for goods and services. The country has a young and robust population with a median age of 22.5 years that grows by 1.95% annually. Total labor force is 36.8 million. In 2008, there were over 405,000 college graduates of whom 85, 000 were in IT, computer sciences and engineering; 110,000 in commerce and business, and 42,000 in medicine and allied/natural sciences.

Strategic Location

Situated in the heart of Asia, the world��s fastest-growing region and gateway for international shipping and aviation, the Philippines is within 4 hours flying time to key Asian cities. It is the closest southeast Asian country to Korea and takes only 3.5 hours to fly from Seoul to Manila. Shipping time from there to key seaports in Asia are within 48 hours. With Korea-ASEAN FTA and the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) in place, it is a suitable distribution hub that can service the 570 million ASEAN consumers and the 90 million Philippine domestic market.

Abundant Resources

The Philippine archipelago has diverse natural resources, from land to marine to minerals. It is the biggest copper producer in southeast Asia and among the top gold producers in the world. It has 300,000 hectares of rich arable land and 7,107 tropical islands with 36,000 km of coastlines of beautiful beaches and breathtaking sceneries. Located inside the Southeast Asian marine diversity triangle, it has the highest concentration of marine life on earth, home to 2,145 fish species that are 4 times those found in Bahamas.

Hospitable Lifestyle

Tropical setting of sun, sea and sand with western amenities, the Philippines is second home to expatriates who enjoy the company of friendly people, varied cultures and global outlook. It offers accessible and affordable housing, medical, shopping, and recreational facilities. It has first-rate educational institutions including international schools and English-language training centers that are recognized for quality and good value.

Librealized Investment Climate

The Philippines is an open economy that allows 100% foreign ownership in almost all sectors. It operates a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) investment scheme for large infrastructure projects that other countries emulate. Government corporations are being privatized and key industries have been liberalized and deregulated. These are: aviation and shipping, banking and finance, manufacturing, mining, petroleum, power, retail trade, water and telecommunication. Incentives for several sectors include income tax holidays, reduced corporate income taxes for those in special economic zones, and tax and import duty exemption of capital equipment and raw materials. Over 400 multinational companies that register for regional headquarters are entitled to tax exemptions and tax and duty-free importation of specific equipment and materials.

Economic growth from the first to the last quarter of 2016 has been very encouraging, with an average full-year growth of 6.9 percent. This is along the high-end of the government's target of 6.0 to 7.0 percent growth rate for 2016. This also brings the seven-year moving average of real GDP growth rate to 6.3 percent ? the highest since 1978.

The Philippines is likely either the third or fourth fastest growing major Asian emerging economy in the fourth quarter after China's 6.8 percent and Vietnam's 6.7 percent. For full-year of 2016, we are so far the fastest growing economy with China at 6.7 percent Vietnam at 6.2 percent and Indonesia at 5.0 percent.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 6.5 percent in the second quarter of 2017 and 6.4 percent in the first half of the year. Manufacturing, Trade, and Real Estate, Renting and Business Activities were the main drivers of growth for the quarter.

Among the major economic sectors, Industry recorded the fastest growth at 7.3 percent. Services slowed down to 6.1 percent compared with its 8.2 percent growth posted in the same quarter of the previous year. Meanwhile, Agriculture recovered with 6.3 percent growth from 2.0 percent decline in the previous year.

Net Primary Income from the Rest of the World (NPI) grew by 8.6 percent compared with the 6.1 percent growth recorded in the same quarter of the previous year. As a result, Gross National Income (GNI) posted a growth of 6.8 percent.

With the country's projected population reaching 104.5 million in the second quarter of 2017, per capita GDP grew by 5.0 percent. Meanwhile per capita GNI and per capita Household Final Consumption Expenditure (HFCE) grew by 5.3 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively.

The inflow of OFW remittances for the full year of 2016 reached US$26.9 billion, increasing 5.05% from 2015. The continuous increase in OFW remittances raises the buying capacity of the Filipinos (public spending), thereby increasing domestic consumption. This does not only boost the country's improving economic performance (i.e. contribution to GDP), it also opens opportunities for commercial trade and other ventures. Furthermore, this signifies the steady demand for skilled Filipino workers abroad, another testament to the quality of our human resources.

Based on the 2015 Census of Population or POPCEN 2015, the Philippine population reached 100.98 million. The Philippine population increased by 1.72 percent annually, on average, during the period 2010 to 2015.

Median age is 23 years old (per 2010 census)- The United Nations projects that in 2030 the median age in the Philippines will reach 29 years and in 2050, it will be 35 years. About 62.4% of the population is of working age ? between 15 and 64.

In 2016, KR was the Philippineș 7 th major trading partner (out of 226), 8 th export market (out of 213) and 5 th import supplier (out of 207). In the same year, PH exports to KR went down by 10.08% from USD 2.4B in 2015 to USD 2.2B in 2016. This was due mainly to the decrease in exports of digital monolithic integrated circuits (down 46.96%), and copper ore and concentrates (down 55.51%). On the other hand, PH imports from KR grew by 19.55% from USD 4.7B in 2015 to USD 5.6B in 2016. This was due to the increase in the imports of the following: a) other digital monolithic integrated circuits, not elsewhere specified (n.e.s.) (up 97.51%); b) digital monolithic integrated circuits (up 101.47%); and c) vehicles, of a cylinder capacity exceeding 1,500cc but not exceeding 3,000cc, with spark-ignition internal combustion (up 166.96%).

PH Products for promotion to KR

- Food products (edible fruit and nuts, fresh fruits, dried fruits, fruit juices and concentrates, fruit preserves, canned fruits, dessert and snack food, processed seafood/fish products, coconut water, refined coconut oil, refined bleached and deodorized coconut oil, desiccated coconut, coconut chips, fresh young coconut, coco geotextile)

- Organic and natural products (natural food, personal/health care products

- Design driven products such as garments, furnishings and holiday decors

- Chemicals

- Electronic parts and components

- Game development and animation

- Education services/language courses

- IT-BPM service outsourcing

In 2016, a total of almost PhP 700 billion worth of projects were approved by BOI & PEZA, wherein 31.9% came from foreign sources.

The top five (5) sources of foreign capital were the Netherlands, Australia, USA, Japan, and Singapore.

On another note, the top five (5) sectors which gained more capital inflows include Manufacturing; Electricity, gas, steam & air conditioning supply; Real Estate Activities; Transportation and Storage; and Accommodation and Food Service Activities.

Net FDIs from KR in Jan-Aug 2016 is US$5 M (Rank 13 th , 41.87%), FY 2015 is US$102 M (Rank 6 th ,↑2,043.28%), and total in 2006-2015 is US$204 M.

IPA-Approved Investments from KR in S1 2016 is US$120 M (Rank: 5 th , ↓17.58%), FY 2015 is US$509 M (rank: 3 rd , ↑457.53%) and total in 2006-2015: US$4 B.

Notable BOI-Approved Investments in 2003-2016(Oct) are from KEPCO SPC Power Corp. in power generation projects, KEPCO Cebu Corporation in New Operator of 200MW Fired Power Plant, El Elyon Power Plant Phils., Inc. in renewable energy developer of 160MW Alabel Solar Power Project in Sarangani, and Phil. BXT Corp. in Tourist accommodation facilities.

PEZA-Registered Companies as of 31 Aug 2016 are Samsung Electro mechanics Philippines Corp. for Radio, television and communication equipment and apparatus, Smart Electronics Manufacturing Service Philippines Inc. for radio, television and communication equipment and apparatus, Yu Jin Optical Electronics, Inc. for Electrical Machinery and Apparatus, N.E.C., Kodec Precision Inc. for manufacture/assembly of blade, winding coil, device pick-up coil and other electronic parts, and Donggwang Clark Corporation for Hotels and Restaurants.

Major PH Companies in KR are Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corp. (PASAR), Philippine Airlines operating 38 back-to- back flights weekly, Cebu Pacific for daily flights between Incheon and Manila, Incheon and Cebu, and Busan and Manila, Metrobank Korea operating full banking services and remittance services to overseas Filipinos in Korea and BDO Unibank and Land Bank that offers remittance services to overseas Filipinos in Korea

Priority Sectors for Investment Promotion to KR

- Shipbuilding

- Automotive manufacturing (including electronic auto-parts, Mold and Die)

- Food production and food processing and agribusiness

- Electronics (which should include LED modules, printers, ICs, and electronic auto parts, among others)

- Energy (including Renewable energy)

- Finance and banking

- Infrastructure and PPP

- Tourism Industry (Hotel, resort w/ golf course, Korean retirement village, Medical Tourism) - Other labor-intensive Korean industries

- Other labor-intensive Korean industries migrating out of China (shoes, jewelry, garments)

Energy - Green Power

For 2008 - 2017, the Philippines requires additional 5,128 MW of power. Together with the 3,805 MW being offered for privatization, a total of 8,933 MW are available for investments. Up to 2014, it will build 41 hydropower and 62 geothermal plants. Potential energy sources for development are: geothermal ? 2,600 MW; hydro ? 13,000 MW; wind ? 76,000 MW; tidal ? 170,000 MW. Special laws - the Renewable Energy Act RA 9513 and the Biofuels Law RA 9367 ? give income tax holidays, tax exemptions and other incentives to investors engaged in renewable energy, feedstock supply and production of biofuels. In 30 May 2009, the Korea ExIm Bank and the BOI signed an MOU to promote investments in renewable energy projects. In 31 May 2009, KOTRA signed an MOU with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to assist Korean investors in Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects that involve renewable energy.

Tourism, Health and Retirement

The number of tourists have grown to over 3 million in 2008 and Korea was No. 1 with over 630,000. Koreans now comprise 46% of foreign retirees living in the country. As the number of Korean tourists, students and residents on long-term stay are expected to increase, the Philippines encourages investments in tourism estates, hotels, tourist buses, resorts, hospitals and medical centers, retirement homes and villages that will serve their needs. Its retirement program allows multiple entry, indefinite stay and ownership of condominiums for second homes. Medical tourism is increasing as the country gets known for quality, caring and competitive health service.

Mining and Miineral Processing

The Philippines is the 5th most mineralized country in the world. In terms of mineral potential, studies show that it ranks third in gold, fourth in copper, fifth in nickel and 6th in chromite. Its total untapped mineral deposits is estimated at $850 billion. In the next five years, gold production is expected to double and copper to expand four-times the 2007 levels. The Mining Act of 1995 allows foreign investments in large-scale exploration, development and utilization of minerals, petroleum and other mineral oils. Incentives to foreign investors include income tax holidays, exemption from real property and other taxes, net operating loss carry-over and accelerated depreciation.

Agribusiness Development

Agriculture, forestry and fisheries employ over a third of the labor force and account for 15% of GDP. Arable land in the Philippines is 11 times bigger than Korea. With 2 to 3 crops per year in tropical climate, huge opportunities exist for commercial production and processing of agricultural and fishery products. These include food and non-food crops such as jatropha for biofuels and covers cold storage and post-harvest facilities, packaging, feed milling, farm equipment and agrochemical production. PEZA encourages the establishment of agroindustrial economic zones.


Besides power projects, these include: Comprehensive and Integrated Infrastructure Program (CIIP) Public Private Partnership projects. These are being implemented by the government with private partnership on BOT and other derivative funding schemes and include large projects such as expressways and tollways, mass transit systems, airports, seaports and bulk water supply. Aside from CIIP, other projects include industrial and economic zones, low-cost housing. IT parks and buildings.

Information Technology and Outsourcing

Growing despite global economic slowdown, these include: call/contact centers, business process outsourcing (BPO/KPO), software development, animation and games development, engineering and architectural design. These services are suitable for Korean companies that have large projects in 3rd countries such as engineering works in the Middle East or for technical support in America. The animation talents in the Philippines remain untapped by Korean companies.

Export Manufacturing

Export-oriented enterprises are encouraged to set up preferably in economic zones and the freeports of Clark and Subic. A large number of existing locators are in electrical and electronics, automotive, textiles, metals fabrication, rubber and plastic products. Logistics, warehousing and distribution companies are also allowed to service clients in ASEAN and other Asian markets.

Contact Details

Philippine Trade and Investment Center
Embassy of the Philippines, Seoul
Tel: 822-798-2502; Fax 822-798-2504

Korea Desk
Board of Investments, Philippines

KOTRA Manila
Korea Business Center, Manila