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Manila joins Asia’s top 30 cities for startups

The Philippine capital joins other Asian cities on the list of 30 top startup ecosystems in this year’s Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER).

In the GSER 2021, Manila ranks 30th in the regional ecosystem performance.

Manila was also named as the 10th most affordable talent in the region and 20th globally.

“The Philippine startup ecosystem is rapidly developing with stronger government support particularly in high-growth services such as AI (artificial intelligence), Big Data, and fintech, among others,” the GSER 2021 said.

It added government policies, such as the Philippine Innovation Act and the Innovative Startup Act, have helped the country to boost the local startup ecosystem.

According to the report, the country’s startup ecosystem was valued at USD584 million, while early stage funding amounted to USD101 million.

However, this is still far from the global average of USD13.68 billion in startup ecosystem value and USD548 million in average early-stage funding.

“Despite setbacks due to COVID-19, startups remain a catalyst for innovation. Leveraging on our strengths, the Philippines will continue supporting startups by reducing barriers to entrepreneurship, providing the right conditions, and boosting their entrepreneurial potential,” Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation Group Rafaelita Aldaba said.

In a statement Thursday, the DTI said the pandemic has accelerated the growth of e-commerce in the country, with revenues estimated to reach more than USD5 million this year and growing up to USD8.8 million in the next three years.

“The continued emergence of fintech and e-commerce startups in the Philippine market highlights the important role of the government in addressing market failures and creating an enabling environment which is crucial in developing a robust startup ecosystem,” Aldaba added.

Meanwhile, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said the agency is committed to strengthening the startup ecosystem in the country.

“We are moving forward in finalizing the structure that will allow us to maximize the utilization and effectiveness of the Startup Venture Fund (SVF) that we are allocating for the development of start-up venture(s) in the country,” Lopez said.

The GSER report also highlighted that the SVF is one of the reasons why startups should tap opportunities in Manila.*PNA

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