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No. 09.06.13  No. 2117 10.30.2008

PHL rated most improved ASEAN nation The Philippines has emerged as the most improved nation among Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members, with American firms expressing increased satisfaction over the stability in the country’s political system, the ASEAN Business Outlook Survey 2014 reported. American firms' satisfaction with the Philippines increased across 14 of the 16 business factors over the last five years. On the other hand, American companies' dissatisfaction with the perceived corruption in the Philippines significantly fell to 59% in 2013 from a high of 91% in 2003. T rade and Industry Information Center Makati City, Philippines Tel.: (632) 895.3611 Fax: (632) 895.6487 Copies available upon request.

Likewise, American firms' negative sentiments on the country’s infrastructure fell to 55% from 69% during the same period.

Now on its 12th year, the survey, conducted by the United States Chamber of Commerce (USCC), polled 475 American business leaders on their investment plans; outlook for the region; and some of the key challenges perceptions and opportunities. “Highlight in the region is the marked improvement of the Philippines. The country has experienced high levels of growth recently and our survey shows why, as business leaders there indicate higher levels of satisfaction across almost all surveyed factors as compared to five years ago,� AmCham Singapore Chairman Simon Kahn said. Some 87% of respondents, the highest percentage in ASEAN, were satisfied with the trained personnel availability in the Philippines. Other satisfaction areas in the country included sentiment toward the U.S., with a 79-% satisfaction rate, also the highest in ASEAN; low cost labor availability (74%); personal security (56%); housing costs (56%); office lease costs (51%); new business incentives offered by government (44%); free movement of goods within the region (41%); and raw materials availability (38%). Meanwhile, AmCham Philippines said corruption, insufficient infrastructure, and the tax structure remain challenges in the country, but it is clear that business leaders have seen significant progress in recent years. In general, the survey showed that many U.S. firms remained optimistic about business prospects in ASEAN, reporting that their company’s trade and investment levels in the region increased over the past two years, while 91% of respondents expected it to increase over the next five years.

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"PHL rated most improved ASEAN nation"