News: Digital economy promises growth for Filipino talent

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Digital economy promises growth for Filipino talent

As the Philippine digital economy skyrockets, key sectors like e-commerce and digital media drive growth, hinting at a future teeming with innovation and opportunity.
Digital economy promises growth for Filipino talent

MANILA — The Philippines’ digital economy grew 7.7% in 2023 to a staggering 2.05 trillion Philippine pesos (US$35.6 billion), up from PhP1.9 trillion the previous year.

The country’s digital economy includes various components such as digital-enabling infrastructure, e-commerce, digital media or content, and government digital services. These elements are crucial as they facilitate a wide range of online transactions and services that are increasingly becoming integral to everyday life and business operations.

Despite the increase in value, however, the digital sector noted a slight decrease in its share in the Philippine GDP, dipping to 8.4% from 8.6% in 2022. This decrease, however, is only one part of the equation: the digital economy is expected to open up new opportunities for businesses and talent.

E-commerce, for example, surged with a 14% sectoral share in the GDP, translating to PhP286.67 billion or an 18.5% increase year on year. The Philippines’ vibrant digital marketplace caters to the country’s growing consumer base.

Growing digital infrastructure

Central to the growth of the digital economy is digital-enabling infrastructure, which alone generated PhP1.7 trillion in 2023, or a 6.3% increase from the previous year. This sector includes telecommunications, business services, and technology manufacturing. Infrastructure fuels the expansion and operational efficiency of the broader digital ecosystem.

In addition to this, the Philippines’ geographic proximity near global markets such as China, Japan, and the US augments its role as an emerging hub for data centre operations. This advantage is complemented by a tech-savvy consumer base and bolstered IT infrastructure, making it an attractive nexus for both regional connectivity and investment.

Government initiatives and digital adoption have driven the internet economy to new heights, with projections setting the growth target at US$40 billion by 2025. Data centre markets in Manila, Cebu, and Davao are expanding rapidly, underscoring the Philippines' critical role in the regional digital infrastructure network.

A hub of digital employment

A staggering 9.68 million Filipinos found employment in various digital domains, from tech giants to startup incubators, illustrating the sector’s pivotal role in job creation and skill development. Remarkably, e-commerce stood out as a major employer, accounting for 87.3% of digital jobs, underscoring its impact beyond mere sales figures.

Digital media and government digital services, though smaller in fiscal size, have contributed significantly to the diversification of the digital landscape, offering creative and technical roles and improving public service delivery.

Filipinos’ creative pulse

Parallel to the growth of the digital economy, the Philippine creative economy has also seen a renaissance, generating approximately PHP 1.72 trillion (around US$30 billion) in 2023. This sector – enriched by the work of local artists, digital creators, and influencers – has not only bolstered the financial metrics but also enhanced the Philippines’ cultural diversity and global cultural footprint.

In 2023, the Philippine digital and creative sectors not only underscored their intrinsic value but also highlighted their critical roles in driving economic growth, employment, and national competitiveness. As these sectors evolve, they promise to further propel the Philippines towards its ambitious modernisation and global integration goals, crafting a digital and creative legacy that will resonate well beyond its shores.

The broader Southeast Asian internet economy is also on a growth trajectory, with a projected increase to US$295 billion by 2025. This region, characterised by a youthful demographic and expanding middle class, continues to be one of the fastest-growing internet markets globally.

The Philippines, alongside Vietnam, is poised to lead this charge, showcasing the vital role of digital innovation in shaping future economic landscapes.

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Topics: Business, Technology, Economy & Policy

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