The Philippines’ economy has had its fair share of challenges and is still grappling with some of them. The country is struggling with high unemployment, inflation, import and export issues, and a continuous reduction in the value of the Philippine Peso (PHP). It’s also facing several other problems, including an economic recession and heightened military tensions. However, despite these issues, most projections conclude that there is much to anticipate.
For instance, the Philippines was one of the fastest-growing emerging markets in 2022, with a GDP growth rate of 7.6%, the country’s fastest since 1976. This was the most rapid growth among emerging economies in the region, with 6.4% in the first quarter, performing better than Indonesia at 5% and China at 4.5%.
Sectors of the Philippines Economy to Watch
The Philippines owes its growth to several industries that improve its economy and GDP. The following are some of the most promising sectors to watch out for in the Southeast Asian nation:
Travel and Hospitality
The Philippines’ travel and hospitality sector is expected to boom in 2023. It’s expected that the tourism and hotel market will rise at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10% between 2023 and 2028. As the number of international flights increases, hospitality businesses welcome more patronage while new ones are opening up in preparation for an expanding market.
Although some travel restrictions exist in the Philippines, hotel occupancy is expected to increase and recover some of the momentum it recently lost. Some of the country’s efforts include a partnership with Saudi Arabia in January 2023 to attract more flights and tourists for both their hospitality sectors. By most predictions, the Philippines and neighboring countries, including Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia, are all set to welcome more travel activity, especially from excited tourists.
Gambling and Casinos
The Philippines is one of the most popular gambling destinations in Southeast Asia. The capital city of Manila is also one of the world’s biggest gambling cities, with more casinos than New Jersey’s Atlantic City, San Juan, or Sydney. Since 1976 (when the government legalized land-based casino gaming), the industry has consistently grown, with a CAGR of more than 17% between 2012 and 2019. According to the official regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), casino income hit $3.3 billion in 2022, an 89% jump from the $1.75 billion reported in 2022.
The gambling sector in the Philippines is so vibrant that PAGCOR operates several casinos despite lawmakers’ concerns about a conflict of interest. PAGCOR is also one of the largest tax generators in the Philippines after the bureaus of Customs and Internal Revenue.
In addition, PAGCOR regulates the country’s online gambling market, which is expected to hit $591 million in 2023. There are so many iGaming options that anyone can find one online and start playing their favorite games. So, running a detailed comparison of legit casino sites is needed for players now more than ever to determine which sites are licenced and have the best cybersecurity measures to protect customer deposits.
The gambling and casino sector in the Philippines is definitely one to watch out for, especially as estimates suggest the gross gaming revenue in the country will hit $10 billion in 2027. The industry is likely to record increased growth as there is a large community of expatriates and an active local market, all filled with people who enjoy gambling.
The agriculture sector in the Philippines was responsible for employing at least 24% of the country’s workforce between 2016 and 2022. It also contributed 8.9% of the country’s GDP in the same year. Furthermore, the Philippines is the third-largest producer of pineapples, with more than 2.8 million metric tons in 2021. The country is also the third-largest producer of coconuts and exports more coconut products than any other nation.
Furthermore, the Philippines is well known for its sugar and rice and is responsible for 2.5% of the world’s rice production. Although rice is an essential staple food for most Filipinos, the Philippines still exported at least 260 metric tons annually from 2016 to 2021. In 2021 alone, the exports totaled 395.4 million metric tons. Most rice exports go to the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, and Kuwait. According to projections, GDP derived from agriculture is expected to hit $10,472 in 2024 and rise to $11,079 in 2025.
Mining and Extraction
The Philippines has a healthy amount of mineral resources, including gold, silver, copper, zinc, and nickel. The country’s deposits of these minerals are some of the world’s largest, with untapped minerals estimated to be worth $1 trillion. In addition, the Philippines also has significant deposits of several other minerals, including palladium, chromite, coal, sulfur, gypsum, limestone, phosphate, and marble.
In addition to these mineral resources, the country is rich in geothermal energy sources. In 2019, more than 7.5% of the total electricity production came from geothermal sources. Some estimates even say that the Philippines is the fifth most mineralized country in the world, with the third-largest deposit of gold.
The mining and extraction sector in the Philippines is on the brink of a major resurgence thanks to the Department of Energy’s strong commitment to harnessing renewable sources for electricity generation. Several minerals, including manganese, lithium, cobalt, aluminum, and copper, are critical to renewable energy sources and could considerably boost the extraction sector. In addition to renewable energy, there are several other uses for some of these materials, including batteries, electric vehicles, and wind turbines. These mineral resources will benefit the Philippines as the world pays more attention to building electric vehicles and reducing greenhouse emissions.