When the French President, François Hollande, landed in the Philippines to call the world’s attention for climate change last February, new trade agreements on green sectors such as transport, water treatment and renewable energy were foreseen between the two countries.
Since typhoon Hayan strongly hit the country in 2013 and showed to the world the vulnerability of the archipelago, Philippines became a frontline against climate change. Unfairly, despite of being responsible for only 1% of global carbon footprint and a small contributor to global warming, the country is still one of the most affected by natural disasters caused by climate change.
In October 2014, president Benigno Aquino urged more investments in clean and renewable energy during his speech in an event organized by the European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation. The Aquino administration is engaged in fighting against illegal logging, expanding forestation and diversifying energy sources by promoting renewable energy, especially solar and wind power. Proudly, the country is taking the lead in this field without waiting for any commitment of its partners or neighbors.
One of the reasons can be due to the fact that Philippines has one of the highest energy fees in the whole Southeast Asia, which makes the development of the manufacture industry even more difficult. Although the Philippines was one of the least affected countries when the oil prices had a dramatic drop affecting currencies worldwide (refer to the blog post), the Filipino government had already been taking actions on the promotion of renewable energy since years ago. The country produces more than one fourth of its electricity from renewable energy sources and is looking to place itself as one of the preeminent green power producers in the region. According to the National Renewable Energy Programme, the installed capacity is aimed to increase 200% by 2030.
Private consumers and investors are becoming more interested because the equipment and installation of solar energy panels, although still high, entails one-time cost solely, which should be taken into account when projecting long term effects. The Asian Development Bank (ADB), one of the country’s prime advocates of Renewable Energy with its Regional Office headquartered in Metro Manila, is fitting 2,040 photovoltaic solar panels in its 6,640 sq/m rooftop to provide electricity to its ground offices.
However, as well as many professions are prohibited to be performed by foreign individuals and foreign enterprises are restricted in certain fields of business, the foreign ownership of exploration, development and utilization of natural resources is limited up to 40% according to the Foreign Investment Negative List promulgated in 2012.
If you wish to learn more about how to set up your business and explore new opportunities in the Philippines, don’t hesitate to contact us. With more than 200 companies incorporated in a wide range of fields, Triple I can provide you assistance and consultancy in dealing with the governmental agencies in order to make your business succeed.