The population of the Philippines now exceeds 100 million, a large percentage of which is of productive working age. As such, it is expected to continue to achieve high economic growth. Also, because English is the official language of the Philippines, there are fewer barriers to communication, and labor is relatively cheap. For these reasons, in the recent trend known as the “China Plus One” strategy, many Japanese companies have moved into the Philippines market or invested there.
Filipino law has been influenced by U.S. law in many ways, but caution is required, as it does have its own unique laws and regulations. Further, new legislation, such as competition law and privacy law, has been introduced in recent years, so not only companies newly moving into the Philippines, but also companies that already have a presence there may need to respond to these new laws. Kitahama Partners has several attorneys with experience working in local law firms in the Philippines, and we have established networks with a number of local law firms. We choose the most appropriate local law firm for the matter we are handling and partner with that firm to provide support to Japanese companies moving into the Philippines in areas such as M&A, joint ventures, litigation, commercial agreements, and various types of legal research.