1. Swiss Economic Presence in the Philippines
- Economic relations between Switzerland and the Philippines date back in the early 1800s when Swiss traders ventured in Southeast Asia. At present, there are around 60 companies with varying degrees of Swiss equity, employing more than 12,000 people in the country - 25% of which belong to the industrial sector while 75% are in the service sector. In addition, there are a number of family-owned enterprises running small resorts, diving schools and tourism operators scattered around the archipelago.
- Switzerland has a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the Philippines as part of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) signed in 2016 at Bern, Switzerland. Annual economic talks are held since the establishment of the Joint Economic Commission (JEC) in 2013.
- Bulk of Switzerland’s exports to the Philippines are chemical and pharmaceutical products; machines, appliances, and electronics; and precision instruments, clocks, watches, and jewelries. In 2019, total exports to the Philippines is CHF 328.6 million.
- A big component of Swiss imports from the Philippines are precious metals and minerals; machines, appliances, and electronics; precision instruments, clocks, watches, and jewelries; forestry and agricultural products, and fisheries; textiles, clothing, and shoes; and chemical and pharmaceutical products. Total imports in 2019 was CHF 592.7 million.
- According to the Swiss National Bank, total capital stock of Swiss firms in the Philippines as of end 2017 amounted to CHF 2.154 billion.
- With regard to Corporate Social Responsibility, the Swiss multinational companies maintain high standards and belong to the group of so-called large taxpayers.
2. The Philippine-Swiss Business Council
- The Philippine-Swiss Business Council (PSBC) was established in late 2003 to assist Swiss firms venturing in the Philippine market. To date, PSBC has around 60 corporate members both Swiss and local companies. It is currently run by a Board of Directors chaired by Ms. Christine Fajardo, Asia Cluster Pharma Communications and Patient Engagement Head, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, and operates under the auspices of the long-established Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).
- On August 10, 2006 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on closer cooperation between the PSBC and the Zürich-based Swiss Asian Chamber of Commerce (SACC) was signed. Since then, a few business missions have been fielded by SACC to the Philippines in cooperation with the PSBC, the latest one being in November 2018.
3. The Commercial Section of the Swiss Embassy
- The Embassy provides assistance to Swiss companies doing business in the Philippines such as but not limited to trade inquiries, bilateral imports and exports, trade and investment promotions, and advice on the overall business climate in the Philippines.
- We provide Swiss with qualified contacts and entry points. These contacts include importers, distributors, potential buyers, manufacturers, legal and finance experts, agents, market consultants, leading business chambers and Philippine Government offices. We have a contact knowledgeable with your technology and target market in most sectors. If we do not have the existing contact, we can find it for you.
- We have up to date market information and can refer you to our expert-partners for additional market research.
- Further, the Embassy may advise towards the resolution of business challenges and provide trouble shooting assistance.
Philippine Economic Report (2020) (PDF, 1.1 MB)