Philippines - Country Commercial Guide
Market Entry Strategy

Generalizes on the best strategy to enter the market, e.g., visiting the country; importance of relationships to finding a good partner; use of agents.

Last published date: 2022-07-25

Agents and distributors are commonly used in the Philippines and are essential for most U.S. companies.  See the “Selling U.S. Products & Services” section for more information on using agents and distributors.

Government procurement requires a foreign firm to have a local partner, with certain exceptions.  See Section 23.4 - Eligibility Criteria for Procurement of Goods and Infrastructure Projects, Section 24.3 - Eligibility Criteria for Procurement of Consulting Services, and Appendix 9 - Guidelines in the Determination of Foreign Suppliers, Contractors, and Consultants to Participate in Government Procurement Projects of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 9184 or The Government Procurement Reform Act.  

Most agents and distributors are based in Metro Manila.  They also cover areas outside Metro Manila or have branches or dealers in major cities such as Cebu City, Davao City, and Cagayan de Oro City.

U.S. companies should be patient yet diligent in pursuing contracts, particularly projects with the Philippine Government.  U.S. firms seeking agents or distributors in the Philippines are encouraged to use the services of the U.S. Commercial Service Philippines (CS Philippines).  For more information, U.S. firms may contact a local U.S. Export Assistance Center or CS Philippines at businessphilippines@trade.gov.