The Road to Trade Winds ASEAN: Philippines

February 24, 2023

Paul Taylor is the Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines

This is the fourth piece in a blog series about different markets that will be featured during Trade Winds 2023.

The United States and the Philippines have had a very close trade relationship for more than a hundred years. With a bilateral trading relationship valued at over $30 billion annually, the Philippines punches above its weight when compared against that of much larger neighboring countries in Southeast Asia. Furthermore, thanks to our deep cultural, economic, and historical ties, Filipino customers and businesses tend to be knowledgeable and avid consumers of American products. U.S. companies interested in doing business or expanding into the dynamic Indo-Pacific market should strongly consider the Philippines.

The United States is among the Philippines’ top three trading partners and is one of the largest foreign investors which contributes to employment and economic growth across the archipelago. The Philippines’ largest export by value is semiconductor chips, tested, assembled, and packaged in the Philippines for international markets, and a large number of U.S.-based semiconductor manufacturers help train Filipino workers, increasing access to high-paying jobs and helping drive the country’s economy. Estimates are that the Philippines will spend approximately $4.4 billion on digital infrastructure over the next six years, which also offers U.S. companies in the information and communications technology and cybersecurity sectors numerous opportunities to export goods and services.

Graphic that reads "Road to Trade Winds ASEAN" "Philippines". Graphic contains an ITA logo and an image of a skyline from Manila, Philippines.

Defense and Security

The U.S.-Philippines partnership in defense and security is rapidly becoming a critical pillar of our security cooperation in the region. For U.S. companies with security and defense technology and equipment, this creates many areas of opportunity to partner with the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The Filipino security forces are well-trained, highly efficient, and have a strong preference for U.S. equipment and modernized technology. Your contacts at the U.S. Embassy in Manila can provided unparalleled access to key decision makers with the Armed Forces and within the Department of National Defense.

Clean Tech, Transportation and Healthcare

Clean energy and tech, transportation infrastructure, and healthcare sectors are all growing prospects for U.S. companies. For example, through the country’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program, U.S. firms can sub-contract through key suppliers or engage in public-private partnership projects that advance upskilling and the digital economy alongside a Philippine partner when competing for public tenders.

Trade Winds

As a way to provide export opportunities for U.S companies in this region, we at the International Trade Administration (ITA) look forward to hosting a Trade Winds mission stop in Philippines on March 9, 2023 as part of the Trade Winds Trade Mission and Business Forum. There is still room for interested businesses to participate at the Business Forum in Bangkok which will take place from March 13-15, 2023. For more information, and to sign up, visit the Trade Winds ASEAN website.

In the coming months, the Commercial Section of the U.S. Embassy in Manila will be creating programs specifically focused on expanding U.S. access to market opportunities in commercial space, health care, telecommunications, agricultural technology, and defense and security. To learn more, contact businessphilippines@trade.gov.

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