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Philippine Economy

The economy of the Philippines is the 4th largest economy in South East Asia and the 36th largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity according to the International Monetary Fund in 2009. Most industries in the country are concentrated in urban areas around Metro Manila, while Metro Cebu is also becoming an attraction for foreign and local investors.

The Philippine economy has had significant ups and downs, since the end of World War II. Originally, the country had a fast growing economy and was at one time one of the richest countries in East Asia. During the regime of Ferdinand Marcos, the economy at first grew but eventually slowed and even turned negative because of corruption, and political uncertainty and unrest. A severe recession happened in 1984-1985 and the economy shrunk by more than 10%. In 1998, the Philippine economy deteriorated as a result of Asian financial crisis. However, the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo pushed toward faster economic growth and Philippines once again re-emerge as one of the growing economies in Southeast Asia.

As a newly industrialized nation, the economy of the Philippines still has a large agricultural sector, however industrial sectors based on manufacturing of electronics and other high-tech components are beginning to dominate the country. Intel has been in the Philippines for 28 years as a major producer of products including Pentium 4 processor. A Texas Instrument plant is located in Baguio and it produces all the chips used in Nokia cellphones and 80% of the chips used in Ericson cellphones worldwide. Printer manufacturer Lexmark also has a factory in Mactan, Cebu.

Ford, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Nissan are the most prominent car manufacturers in the country. Some parts used in Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Volvo cars are also made in the Philippines.

The Philippines is the second largest call center industry in Asia Pacific, next to India. Total jobs in the industry grew to 100,000 and total revenues are placed at $960 million. Outsourcing facilities are mainly located in Metro Manila and Cebu City, although other regional areas are now being developed and promoted for offshore operations.

The country is rich in mineral and geothermal energy resources. It is second to United States when it comes to electricity production from geothermal sources. Philippine gold, nickel, copper and chromite deposits are among the largest in the world. Other important minerals include silver, coal, gypsum and sulfur. Significant deposits of clay, limestone, marble, silica and phosphate also exist. However, due to low metal prices, high production costs, lack of investment in infrastructure, and a challenge to the new mining law, the mining industry in the country have declined considerably.

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