Left (front to back): Jack Madrid, IBPAP President; DTI Secretary Fred Pascual; DTI Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo; DTI Undersecretary for Communications Kim B. Lokin | Right (front to back) BOI Director Lanie Dormiendo; BOI Executive Director Evariste Cagatan; Dr. Caroline King, SAP’s Head of Government Affairs Germany; Mr. Patrick Grofig, Chief Operating Officer of SAP Labs Network; Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) – Berlin Commercial Counsellor Nicanor Bautista

BERLIN, GERMANY—On 3 July 2023, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual led a meeting with Dr. Caroline King, Systemanalyse Programmentwicklung’s (SAP) Head of Government Affairs and Mr. Patrick Grofig, Chief Operating Officer of SAP Labs Network. Organized by the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Berlin, the meeting facilitated discussions on potential collaboration between the Department and SAP in the development of upskilling programs for Philippine small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to access the digital economy.

SAP has around 2,300 employees in Manila, largely providing support services to its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) corporate clients. SAP, which posted revenues of EUR30.87 billion in 2022, is one of the world’s leading producers of enterprise management solutions.  Founded in 1972, the company was initially called System Analysis Program Development, later abbreviated to SAP.  Since then, it has expanded from a small, five-person operation to a multinational group headquartered in Walldorf, Germany with more than 105,000 employees worldwide.

During the meeting, Secretary Pascual highlighted that software development in the country is one of the more established sub-sectors of the Philippine IT industry, citing cost savings and a large entry-level talent pool. He also mentioned that there are more than 400 software companies operating in the Philippines. In total, there are about 200,000 IT and software personnel in the country, of which about 85,000 work on projects geared for the export market. He likewise cited the inclusion of software development and R&D in the list of activities eligible for generous incentives under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act.

Foreign companies currently engaged in software development, GIC (global in-house) services, and R&D activities in the Philippines include, amongst others, Microsoft (IT services/ solutions), Dyson (UK, shared service center, manufacturing and R&D), Avaloq (CH, Software Development), Denso (JP; automotive software development) and Alibaba (cloud computing services/ data center).♦

Date of release: 07 July 2023