In 2000 following the Asian economic slump of the late 1990s, industrial sectors (manufacturing, transportation, communication and storage, mining and quarrying) all posted positive growth rates, lifting the entire economy from the previous year's lackluster performance. Yet, the construction industry suffered because of the lack of long-term investments by the private sector. Although public construction grew by 15 percent from 1998 to 1999, private construction sank to 11 percent because of real estate oversupply. Mining and quarrying continued to suffer from low metal prices in the world market.
In the Philippines, small and medium enterprises make up 99 percent of all manufacturing companies. Revenue of the top 420 manufacturing firms increased by 9.9 percent in 1998. In 2000 manufacturing accounted for almost a quarter of the country's production. According to the Labor Department's January 2001 Labor Force Survey, 9.8 percent of all workers were employed in this sector.
The manufacturing sector produces the country's top export products such as semiconductors, electronics, machinery and transport equipment, and garments. Exports of electronics and semiconductors generated US$17.4 billion in 1998 and US$21.6 billion in 1999. Other chief imports of this sector include paper and paper products, textile yarn and fabrics, nonmetallic minerals, iron and steel, and metal products. Most of the large and medium manufacturing companies are in special export-processing zones or industrial parks. Some provinces have been specially designated to host these companies, such as the CALABARZON area which is made up of 4 provinces: Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon.