Metro Manila locations still the best option, office provider says
Growth of start-up businesses has stoked a new kind of competition among the cities in the Philippines, prompting office and workspace provider Regus Philippines to pick the top five cities for start-ups in the country.
In a report last week, Country manager of Regus Philippines Lars Wittig explained, “In an effort to attract new businesses, local government units are constantly improving their business-friendliness and are even enacting new policies and laws that will make savvy entrepreneurs invest with them.” |
Wittig noted that since 2011, several cities and municipalities have redeveloped their services, providing ease of doing business for start-ups and fixed investors.
“In a rapidly developing country like the Philippines, cities act as engines of growth. If urban growth is well planned, cities can accelerate regional economic growth, innovation, and prosperity,” Wittig said.
“While megacities like Metro Manila command much more economic and political attention, smaller cities are the locus of urban growth and urban population concentration. Important contributors to national wealth and productivity, these secondary cities are a vital focus for development programming and growth in the Philippines,” he added.
Wittig said much of the progress could be attributed to the Cities Development Initiative, which focuses on second-tier cities outside of Metro Manila to be “developed as engines of growth that is inclusive, environmentally sustainable and resilient. By fostering an open and competitive business climate and facilitating investments in high-value industry clusters, each city provides entrepreneurs with the best facilities to grow their business,” he explained.
Given the interest in second-tier cities, Regus Philippines sought to identify the top five locations for start-up businesses to locate their operations, and found that locations in Metro Manila are still preferable, as the cities in the National Capital Region seem to be responding well to growing competition from more distant locations.
Quezon City was given the top spot in Regus Philippines’ assessment, in part because of its recognition by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2016 as the Most Business-Friendly Local Government Unit.
“Quezon City passed the qualifying indicators such as areas of investment promotions, compliance to the Anti-Red Tape Act, and fiscal transparency,” Wittig commented. “As of the most dynamic metropolitan area in the Philippines today, Quezon City is the commercial center of the city and considered an incubator for businesses of all sizes.”
Makati City, considered the financial center of the Philippines, was placed in the second spot by Regus Philippines. “Being the center of commerce and numerous business districts including hotels, BPO (business process outsourcing) industries and condominiums, Makati is a top choice for some of the top companies in the Philippines and abroad,” Wittig said, noting that the city currently has more than 62,000 business enterprises, 1,159 of which are BPO companies.
Manila was given third place on Regus Philippines’ list, and was described as a major center for finance, tourism and real estate. The country’s largest seaport is also located in Manila, making it the main international shipping gateway to the country.
“As the densest city in the world, Manila is a top destination for entrepreneurs and millennials alike,” Wittig said.
The only city outside the National Capital Region in Regus Philippines’ ranking, Angeles City is home to an emerging technology industry, as well as having strong tourism and gambling sectors, Wittig explained.
“This city could possibly become one of the venues of the world-renowned Formula One series because of a proposal to construct a new Formula One quality circuit” in or near Angeles, Witting added.
Rounding out the top five, Pasay City, one of the four original cities of Metro Manila, embraced urbanization as long ago as the American occupation, Regus Philippines noted.
“Home to the major airport, national government offices, and financial institutions in Metro Manila, Pasay has become a great center for international congresses and trade exhibitions and symposia every year,” Wittig said.