Australian businesses in Southeast Asia have picked the Philippines as the most preferred destination for their expansion, a recent survey showed.
The Philippines has become the most popular market for Australian companies looking to expand, after being picked by 24 percent of survey respondents in the latest edition of Australian Business in Asean.
This marked the first time the country became the top pick of Australian businesses since the annual survey began in 2016.
The survey said 80 percent of businesses in the region plan to expand their operations by 2023, citing the growing middle class in Southeast Asia as among the factors that fueled their bullishness.
“The Philippines is now the most prominent destination for future investments, overtaking Vietnam in 2017 and Myanmar in 2016,” the 2019 survey read.
“Philippine trade with Australia has increased significantly over recent years while there has also been growing Australian investor interest in the Philippines,” the survey said.
Traffic congestion in the country, however, was identified as a “high-impact constraint on business” by the majority of respondents, followed by government bureaucracy and the tax system.
More than one-third, or 36 percent, of Australian companies here in the Philippines have been operating here for more than two decades.
The survey said companies continued to be attracted to the market, citing that 14 percent of the respondents had been operating in the country for less than two years. —ROY STEPHEN C. CANIVEL