Leveraging Service Sector Growth in the Philippines

Publication | September 2013

This paper looks at the potential to leverage service sector growth in the Philippine economy. It stresses the need for revitalization of a wide range of service and goods-producing industries and the interface between them.

The Philippines is often referred to as a country from which export of services rather than manufactured goods is the principal engine for economic growth, as the share of the service sector in gross domestic product has exceeded that of the industry sector since the mid-1980s. Three major opportunities for leveraging service sector growth stands out. One is expanding the scale and scope of the export and domestic markets for information technology-business process outsourcing and other modern services in urban areas. Second is expanding tourism to foster economic development across social groups and regions including poor and remote rural areas. Third is enhancing the domestic prospects for Filipino technical, managerial, and entrepreneurial talent so they will work in the Philippines rather than overseas. To take advantage of those opportunities, there is a need for concerted efforts to improve infrastructure; logistics; broadband connections; the power supply; education, health-care, financial, legal, and public administration services; and more generally the overall business environment for foreign investors and local entrepreneurs.


  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • The Philippine Economy and Service Sector Development
  • Information Technology Services and Business Process Outsourcing
  • Tourism
  • Overseas Workers and the Philippine Diaspora
  • Conclusions
  • References

Additional Details

  • Economics
  • Industry and trade
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Social development and protection
  • Social protection - labor and employment
  • Philippines
  • WPS135999
  • 1655-5252 (Print)

Published Version

Mitra, Raja Mikael. 2013. "Leveraging Service Sector Growth in the Philippines." In Developing the Service Sector: As an Engine of Growth for Asia, edited by Donghyun Park and Marcus Noland, 319–47. Manila: Asian Development Bank. https://www.adb.org/publications/developing-service-sector-engine-growth-asia.

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