The Philippines is the world’s fifth most mineralised country, with the third-largest deposits of gold, fourth-largest of copper, fifth of nickel and sixth of chromite. The value of mineral resources is estimated to be around one trillion US dollars, but this source of wealth remains largely untapped. At the end of 2013, only three per cent of the Philippines – around 958 thousand hectares of land – was covered by 712 mining tenements. There are approximately 38 metallic mines operating in the Philippines and at least 20 companies involved in exploration and construction projects.
The World Bank ranked the Philippines 108th out of 189 countries in its last “Doing Business” report. Notably, the Philippines jumped to 108th place from its previous ranking of 138, the biggest improvement among all countries last year. The Philippines’s macroeconomic fundamentals and with it the overall investment climate have strengthened, with the Philippines now enjoying one of the highest growth rates in the region, with low and stable inflation, as well as healthy government finances and positive trade balances. The country has also made progress in promoting transparency and open government, which have traditionally been deterrents for investment in the Philippines.