From a business perspective the Philippines can be difficult to get things in and out without heavy fees. But if you can work the system there is a huge consumer market out there. Generally the electrical goods for example are priced the same or more expensive than the UK which is good and bad. Imported goods from overseas are respected and a bit of a prize possession securing goods which come with a UK Standards label for example even though it could be surplus or graded stock you could be on to a winning venture. There are wholesale buyers of graded stocks in the UK where you can buy in small quantities all the way up to container size although likely to need to do some repairs when they arrive. But this could also be beneficial to you as the import tax would be a different rate due to the goods being “faulty/ spares scrap” you will have to look into it yourself from that angle but the profit margins can be huge if you know what you are doing. Like the rest of the world the Chinese cheap and unreliable products are well known so filling in the gap between the crap and the premium stocks that are in the malls you could find yourself developing into a major player in time.
There is also a new area that seems to be developing with people wanting houses constructed to European/Western standards. Problem with this is that most people don’t like the price tag attached. I believe the easiest way round the problem is looking at other countries in the area such as Australia and looking into its building codes and construction methods as they have many of the similar problems we have in the Philippines with things like Termites. There are timber frame construction designs, new methods with concrete hollow block design but with different materials etc. but the important thing is working out how to save construction costs for clients at the same time increasing construction speed. Its a venture I am keen to get involved in the future but at the moment our budgets are in other projects but can offer project supervision and construction teams for your projects.
Education is another gap in the market which needs exploiting to improve the next generations. It is something several of the expats I have spoken to have commented on how to go about it would be better to spend time in the existing system to see what needs adding as it could be simply developing extra study classes a couple of times a week developing in the future to a more structured business. Computer skills are something that is also in demand and worth looking into it is something I am looking to do at the Netcafe as soon as I can locate my first students. I will probably run the first few months for “free” as things develop here more by word of mouth than they would with advertisements.
A lot of the ideas can be very simple and small and are often the ones that will succeed.