Business Sweden in Philippines’ market outlook 2018

“Now is a good time to enter the Philippine market!” states Business Sweden, with a recently established office in Manila since September 2017.

“Last year we saw an all-time high in terms of consulting assignments, in both value and numbers, and as Sweden reopened its embassy in Manila in end of 2016 it was clear to us that we needed local presence,” Ulf Wennblom Country Manager Business Sweden Philippines.

To present a fair view of the market conditions and business opportunities, Business Sweden has just launched the Philippines Market Outlook report in early 2018. The report is based on interviews with executives for the leading Swedish companies in the Philippines and with local thought leaders and economists.

The report was first presented at a well-attended seminar in Singapore, co-hosted with the Embassy of Sweden in Manila and Swedcham in Singapore, and is also available on the Business Sweden homepage (

“The Swedish companies that are here have combined revenue of 4-5 billion SEK and experience profitable double digit growth. Yet, Swedish exports and investments are low. There is clearly room for more Swedish companies,” says Wennblom.

The Philippine economy offers robust and high growth fuelled by a growing middle class, favourable demographics, and large infrastructure projects that are now taking off. Business opportunities in the Philippines are large and many, and lie in infrastructure development, manufacturing, retail and services.

“I believe that the Philippine market today has more to offer Swedish companies than ever before. But, as in practically all markets in the region, one has to be aware of challenges such as corruption, red tape and a weak legal system,” notes Harald Fries, Swedish ambassador to the Philippines.

The country is often referred to as a high-risk market to do business in, but we believe the opportunities outpace the risks as long as long as a market entry is well prepared and well executed by focusing on best practice factors from leading companies. This is proven by Swedish companies that are established in the Philippines experience high and profitable growth, writes Business Sweden.

Other extracts from the report:
On foreign investments: the country is quite open for foreign investments, and the Government is pushing for more foreign investments by reducing existing restrictions on foreign ownership.

Foreign investors may set up businesses though the Board of Investment, in export zones, and in specific free trade zones.

Demographics: the young English speaking population is a key competitive advantage for the service industry, especially for the BPO industry.

Swedish export: Sweden has a trade surplus with the Philippines. Finland and Denmark both have both larger and higher growth in exports than Sweden, indicating that there is room for growth. Sweden primarily exports pulp & paper, telecom equipment, industrial machinery and automotive products.

Approximately 40 Swedish companies are present in Philippines, whereof some 20 are multinationals.


Business Sweden is owned by the Swedish Government and the industry, and help Swedish companies to grow their international revenue. In the Asia Pacific region, Business Sweden has 15 offices and 150 growth consultants that support in market expansion, sales acceleration, incubation and operations and public affairs.

About Joakim Persson

Freelance business and lifestyle photojournalist

View all posts by Joakim Persson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *