Japanese firms eye RP for O&O needs

Published by rudy Date posted on December 29, 2008

The Japanese are looking at the Philippines as a possible site for outsourcing and offshoring (O&O), a ranking government official said.

“The people in Hokaido were not aware that the Philippines is an IT (information technology) service provider,” Elmer C. Hernandez, undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) told The Star in an interview.

According to Hernandez, Hokaido is filled with small and medium sized enterprise that are into IT.

“We are talking to them for possible investments in the Philippines ,” Hernandez said.

The only problem he cited is that some of the firms require Japanese speaking employees because there are people in Hokaido who are not able to speak English.

Hernandez said some training will be required before the country can fully penetrate this market.

In Tokyo, meanwhile, Hernandez said he has spoken to several firms who are interested in outsourcing and offshoring in a bid to look for cheaper labor markets.

Unlike in Hokaido, Hernandez said people in Tokyo are already comfortable using English so BPOs servicing the Tokyo market need not learn Nippongo.

Other investments, Japan is looking at is at mining, power generation and infrastructure development.

In fact, a Japanese firm, together with the government of Japan , is looking at the possibility of investing more than $1 billion in the country’s mining industry.

“JOGMEC (Japan , Oil, Gas, Mineral and Energy Corp.) is currently undertaking a study for a private firm in relation to mining activities in Talisan and Ibaan Batangas,” Hernandez said.

He said JOGMEC, which is a government corporation, has a “keen interest” on the two mine sites. “They are looking at mining copper and gold,” he said.

Depending on what the result of the exploratory studies, Hernandez said the Japanese firm will invest anywhere between $200 million to over $1 billion.–Ma. Elisa P. Osorio, Philippine Star

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