Manila: A global investment prospect and a dawning developer

Industry leaders from Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc, Colliers International Philippines, DOT and BOI gather to talk about the viability of Manila as a world-class investment destination.

As the sun went down and the moon took its rightful place in the skyline of Manila on the eve of November 14, 2020, a group of exemplary individuals came together to share their thoughts and insights on the current state and future of Manila in the global investment scene through an investor’s summit entitled, Manila: A Global Prospect. Mr. Joey Bondoc, the senior research manager of Colliers International, shared their firm’s analysis of Manila’s current stance in terms of being an attractive investment destination for foreign and domestic investors. Bondoc dissected what Manila’s current and long-standing policies are doing to boost Manila’s status as global investment capital, he delved into the positive financial effect brought by the remittances of the Overseas Filipino Workers, and as to how the aggressive infrastructure projects of the country are projected to ramp up the production and supply chain capacities of the existing industries in the country. The influx of multinational and transnational companies setting up shop here in Manila was also discussed by Mr. Bondoc — according to his firm’s findings, this steady and gradual influx and retention of multinational and transnational companies are driving up the equity of office space developers and the interrelated industries that ramps up the country’s GDP, thus boosting Manila’s reputation as a global investment destination.

Public-Private partnerships have been proven to be the key to the success of many developing nations, as the old saying says ‘You cannot build a house with one stone’. Government Institutions have long been paving the road for private entities to have trouble-free access in setting up shops and thriving in the country’s economy. For the tourism industry’s part, the country’s primary institution tasked with encouraging, promoting, and developing tourism as a major socio-economic activity to generate foreign currency and employment and to spread the benefits of tourism to both the private and public sectors — The Department of Tourism’s Secretary, Ms. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat shared her department’s current accomplishments and future plans to further strengthen and boost the identity of Manila as a world-class tourist destination thus driving up the socio-economic benefits that come with the arrival of tourists. According to the secretary, the country has been dubbed as a ‘Dawning Developer’ by the JLL and the World Travel & Tourism Council due to its unwavering commitment and strategic plans to develop the country in every discernable industry. Secretary Puyat declared that the country is expected to double-down on the promotion of tourism once the raging pandemic has subsided, hence the projection of a higher rate of tourist arrivals.

Colliers International Philippines Senior Research Manager Joey Roi Bondoc delivered some updates about the current state of the Philippines real estate sector.
DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat during her pre-recorded presentation about Manila as a world-class tourism investment destination and a 'Dawning Developer'.
BOI Governor Ms. Angelica Cayas talked about real estate as one of the key industries that continuously supports the Philippine economy during this pandemic.
Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc. President and CEO Mr. Kingson Sian provided some updates on the development of Westside City, a premier township of Megaworld in the Bay Area (Entertainment City).

As for the financial aspect of the country’s economy, Ms. Angelica Mapua Cayas, the Governor of the Board of Investments under the Department of Trade and Industry shared her think tank’s findings if whether the country will bounce back stronger from this pandemic or if it will be otherwise. Secretary Cayas claimed that the country will bounce back stronger than it ever was due to the resiliency of significant industry players during the height of the global pandemic. According to her, the Real Estate industry is one of the key industries that became the backbone of the country during these trying times, partly due to its resiliency and the financial management of its executives that made the blow on the industry softer thus enabling them to keep almost all of their financial capital and landbanks without the need of downsizing their workforce. The country’s large mineral reserve has also been a major factor in keeping the economy strong despite the prolonged cessation of mining activities.  This is a testament that Manila offers a wide array of investment opportunities aside from zestful industries like the real estate industry — it also has robust innate industries supported by the country’s natural resources. 

To cap it all off, Mr. Kingson Sian, the President, and CEO of Travellers International Hotel Group shared his insider knowledge of the Hospitality and Tourism industry’s current state and outlook. He presented the audience with data that proves that the hospitality industry has experienced uninterrupted growth since 1998, owning to Manila’s strategic and desirable aspects that make it a tourist and investor haven. Mr. Sian also presented the plans for future developments in Westside City, a premier gaming hub projected to be at par with that of Las Vegas and Macau. Featuring six-star hotels, museums, cultural centers, a grand opera house, sports arenas, residential villages, and theme parks, Westside City is poised to take center stage! Sian proudly claims that the development of the gaming hubs in Westside City resulted in a steady increase in the prices of condominiums in the area.

Mr. Woodrow Maquiling, DOT's Regional Director for NCR during the panel discussion.

The summit ended as a success with every participant going home with a brand new perspective of Manila as a global investment prospect, complete with its undeniable resiliency and a diversified investment offering, Manila has cemented itself as a tourist and investor oasis.