A more transparent commercial environment – particularly one where information relating to business setup requirements was readily available – would help attract a higher level of overseas investment to the Philippines. That, at least, appeared to be the consensus among many of the delegates attending the recent Business 2020 Beyond the Metro forum held in Taguig city. Voicing the opinion of many, Amanda Carpo, legal counsel and co-founder of KMC Solutions, a Taguig-based private office and co-working space provider, said overseas investors typically view how user-friendly the procedures are for registering and securing an operating licence in any given jurisdiction as a fair indication as to how straightforward running a business there is going to be.
Expanding on the importance of this, she emphasized how seriously many investors take the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index as an indication of where to site a project. In light of that, she said it was clearly good news that the Philippines had improved its standing in those particular rankings over recent years. Turning her attention to other issues, she urged delegates to consider establishing operations in the secondary- and tertiary-ranked areas beyond the Metro Manila region, emphasizing that growth in these more outlying parts of the country would only have a positive impact on the economy overall. Echoing a number of her sentiments, Derek Gallimore, founder of Outsource Accelerator, a Manila-based outsourcing consultancy, said investors review governmental procedures, as well as the suitability of any region’s infrastructure, when considering the opportunities on offer in any particular location, with transparency often a key criteria in the final decision making process.