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Information and Communication Technology Philippines Trade Opportunities

Philippines Artificial Intelligence

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) has brought about emerging technologies that bridge the divide between physical, digital, and biological environments.  Among these recent technological advances is artificial intelligence (A.I.), which has been gaining traction in recent years with the development and popularity of tools such as ChatGPT and Midjourney.  Coined by Stanford Professor John McCarthy in 1955, he defined A.I. as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines”. 

According to a 2017 report from PwC, A.I. could contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. In Southeast Asia, research from management consulting firm McKinsey suggests that A.I. has the potential to automate roughly 50% of the tasks carried out in the four largest economies in ASEAN, including the Philippines.  Furthermore, an October 2020 report by EDBI and Kearney predicts that A.I. could increase Southeast Asia’s gross domestic product (GDP) by up to $1 trillion by 2030, providing a 12% boost to GDP (equivalent to approximately $92 billion).  These findings, combined with the acceleration of digitalization brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrate that A.I. holds significant promise for improving the lives of Filipinos, bolstering local industries, and strengthening the national economy.

Recognizing the expected benefits of embracing technology and A.I., the Philippine government has been making significant efforts to improve its regulatory environment towards Industry 4.0.  In 2019, the Philippine government enacted the Philippine Innovation Act (Republic Act No. 11293), which declares innovation as “a vital component of national development and sustainable economic growth.” It calls for the creation of the National Innovation Council that will lead the whole-of-government coordination for the country’s innovation governance and formulate the National Innovation Agenda and Strategy Document, which contains the Philippines’ vision and goals for its innovation ecosystem.  The Philippine government also enacted the Philippine Innovative Startup Act (R.A. 11337) in the same year, which established the Philippine Startup Development Program to provide benefits and incentives for startups and startup enablers. 

In 2021, the Philippine government launched the National Artificial Intelligence Roadmap with the vision of transforming the Philippines into an A.I. hub within the ASEAN region. The roadmap outlines strategic priorities and responsibilities for the government, industry, and academia. One key recommendation is the establishment of the National Center for A.I. Research (N-CAIR), led by the private sector. N-CAIR will function as a shared research hub for A.I., supporting the digital transformation of Filipino businesses and industries. The implementation of strategies under the roadmap offers opportunities for U.S. companies to provide the necessary technology and services for connectivity and R&D. 

Additionally, there are ongoing efforts by the Philippine government to use A.I. in weather forecasting and smart cities. U.S. technology companies can find opportunities in these areas as well as in government frontline services, real estate, banking and finance, safety and security, cybersecurity, retail and e-commerce, education, space exploration, agribusiness, urban planning, manufacturing, healthcare, logistics, and transportation.

U.S. companies interested in exploring these opportunities should contact Easter Villanueva at