Philippine shaping up as ideal site for startups

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is becoming an ideal destination for startups due the enabling environment it offers as well as its highly skilled talents, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said that Philippine startup ecosystem continues to accelerate with a 20 percent growth in terms of deal count, reflecting investors’ confidence and interest in the country’s startup scene as a possible investment destination.

“Being in the nascent stages of its startup ecosystem development, the Philippines is one of the actively emerging ecosystems across the region. We wish to highlight the country’s strong potential as a startup destination. It is home to a very young, tech-savvy population, putting the startup scene at the center of an innovation-based program,” Pascual said.

Based on the Global Startup Genome Report in 2022, the Philippine startup ecosystem and Manila’s entrepreneurial ecosystem were among the top 20 Global Ecosystems and Top 10 Asian Ecosystems in Affordable Talent.

The country also ranked among the top 25 Asian Ecosystems and top 15 Asian Emerging Ecosystems in Funding.

In addition, tax incentives and support extended to foreigners were cited as reasons a startup should consider moving to Manila.

The DTI said that the Philippines offers a 20 percent corporate income tax (CIT) rate for startups as mandated under Republic Act 11534 or the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Law.

At the same time, CREATE, through the Strategic Investment Priority Plan (SIPP), provides a more strategic tax incentive package for businesses and startups depending on tier, location, and market orientation.

“Aside from policy reforms that facilitate the creation of a healthy business environment, the Philippines has also instituted laws that will further promote ease of doing business to attract startups and other forms of investments in the country,” the DTI said.

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