For foreigners, working is more fun in PH

Apparently, even U.S. business executives think it's more fun in the Philippines.

Expatriates currently working in the Philippines seem to be enjoying their stay here, results of the US Chamber of Commerce's latest Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Business Outlook Survey showed.

Surveyed American firms operating in the Philippines answered yes when asked: "Are your expatriate employees generally satisfied with their assignments in your response location?"

The 100-percent score is an increase from 93 percent in 2011 and 86 percent in 2010.

Other Southeast Asian countries also had generally high scores, with the regional average pegged at 96 percent. Aside from the Philippines, Malaysia also got a score of 100 percent in the said indicator.

A growing number of employees in American companies also want to be transferred to the Philippines.

Results of the survey showed that two out of five (40 percent) locally operating American firms said they regularly receive requests from employees based on other locations to work in the Philippines.

This is an increase from 21 percent in 2011 and 15 percent in 2010.

The Philippines got the third highest response in "expatriate assignment satisfaction" within the region, even as it remained below the regional average of 51 percent. It was topped only by Singapore, 75 percent and Malaysia, 40 percent.

More and more employees also want to stay in the Philippines longer, the survey showed further.

Nearly four out of five (79 percent) of firms said surveyed their employees "attempt to extend their time" working here.

This is higher than the country's score of 77 percent in 2011 and 71 percent in 2010.

The country posted the third highest score in this indicator compared to other countries in Southeast Asia, following Singapore (85 percent) and Malaysia (83 percent).

The expatriates' positive sentiment toward ASEAN countries, along with other indicators, means that "the outlook for investment opportunities in ASEAN is good across the region," the US Chamber of Commerce said.

Positive outlooks were expressed by 92 percent of respondents, while 70 percent plan to expand their business in ASEAN.

"Expansion is expected to continue region-wide," the group noted.

In the Philippines alone, 92 percent of respondents "maintain a positive outlook for the ASEAN region as an investment opportunity for their companies."

The country's strengths include its positive relations with the US, availability of skilled manpower, low cost of labor and office lease costs.

Corruption, meanwhile, remains a major concern for American investors.

Also deterring investments are strict laws and regulations, inefficient customs procedures and lack of infrastructure.

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