Investments in the country’s business process outsourcing (BPO) industry is expected to reach $60 million this year as the Philippines remains the most stable country in the Southeast Asian region, international property services firm CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) said.
“The Philippines is the most stable country in the Southeast Asian region,” CBRE chairman Rick M. Santos reiterated in a press briefing yesterday. “There are no talks of any coup and the peso has been stable over the years”.
He said the Philippines is a maverick market among countries greatly affected by the slowdown in global consumer demand.
The country has a number of industries that will insulate the economy from the global recession, specifically the BPO and tourism sectors, Santos pointed out.
He noted that amidst the global credit crisis, the environment of doing business in the Philippines has provided a refuge for foreign direct investors.
Likewise, he said overseas Filipino workers’ remittances, a large domestic market, and relatively low cost of doing business should be able to keep the local economy growing in 2009 en route to its original recovery plan by 2010.
Meanwhile, CBRE research and consultancy director Victor Asuncion said offshoring is expected to continue in spite US President Obama’s campaign to encourage US firms to keep jobs in the United States.
Asuncion said companies will continue to seek destinations which offer cheaper operations costs. In fact, he said he is seeing a lot of expansions of existing BPOs in the country as reflected in the high inquiries they are receiving.
Asuncion said they expect to fill the 240,000-square meter office space for BPOs. With an investment of between $1,000 to $ 1,500 per BPO seat, the estimated new investments for the sector would amount to between $40 million to $60 million.
He said they expect more technical support and back-office operations of major US firms and financial institutions to come in, given the huge 70-to 80-percent disparity in salaries.–Ma. Elisa P. Osorio, Philippine Star