Philippines Hosts Foreign Delegations from US, UK and Japan; e-Services Philippines Adds Business Venture Track Following Record Attendance in 2005

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The Philippines’ biggest annual platform for IT and IT-enabled services, e-Services Philippines will be adding a Business Venture Track to address the needs and concerns of IT entrepreneurs and investors.

The Philippines’ biggest annual platform for IT and IT-enabled services, e-Services Philippines will be adding a Business Venture Track to address the needs and concerns of IT entrepreneurs and investors, according to the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), organizer of the event.

“The event is aimed to consolidate the Philippines’ offerings in the world of IT. Organizations contemplating business process outsourcing (BPO) can also have the opportunity to meet, network and build relationships with some of the Philippines’ premier IT providers,” according to Department of Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary and CITEM Head Fe Agoncillo-Reyes.

e-Services Philippines 2006 (ESP ’06) is an exhibit and conference that showcases the Philippine capabilities in IT and IT-enabled services. It will be held on 16-17 February 2006 at EDSA Shangri-la Manila.

Leading IT companies and professionals are expected to attend the two-day event. Business delegates from the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, and Asia are also joining the event.

ESP ’06 seeks to attract CEOs, policy makers, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists and investors. Besides the exhibit, the show will also feature a high-level knowledge conference dealing with contemporary issues on IT-enabled services, a business venture track for IT entrepreneurs and investors and a roundtable discussion with key Japanese IT players.

ESP ’06 is expected to be a bigger hit than last year’s. The previous edition drew more than 100 companies; 2,000 business visitors, and international delegates, speakers and panelists from the US, Japan, France, Canada, India and China.

The show is also expected to draw substantial attendance from the country’s major IT and BPO industry associations, namely the Business Processing Association of the Philippines, Medical Transcription Industry Association of the Philippines, Animation Council of the Philippines, Philippine Software Industry Association and Cebu and Davao Associations.

Meanwhile, the e-Services Philippines Conference will throw light on the different issues, opportunities and challenges in the different e-services tracks: BPO, animation, data transcription, software development, wireless applications, network and security, engineering and design.

The event will also feature IT companies that were past recipients of the much coveted e-Services Philippines Awards for outstanding products and services in the e-Services Philippines Awardees Zone.

Agoncillo-Reyes said that, in order to attract global participation, e-Services Philippines has been promoted in Europe through the Philippine participation in OutsourceWorld London and business mission in The Netherlands and the UK. The Europe mission was organized by CITEM, the Board of Investments (BOI), in coordination with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Rotterdam and London. Over a dozen European firms expressed their interest to do business with Philippine IT and IT-enabled services companies.

Nigel Roxburgh, founding director of the National Outsourcing Association in the United Kingdom, is one of the featured speakers in e-Services Philippines 2006. According to Roxburgh, “The UK market – the European leader in terms of both size and maturity – presents tremendous opportunities to Philippine BPO companies with bundled horizontal offerings like F&A combined with HR and supply management. Attendance of this outsourcing conference is a ‘must-have’ for such companies to know more about the UK’s business environment and at the same time learn how to move up the BPO value chain and gain a foothold in the European marketplace.”

To date, the BOI together with CITEM has sent delegations to OutsourceWorld New York and American Health and Information Management Association (AHIMA) Conference and Exhibition in San Diego, California in a bid to promote international attendance to the show and attract foreign investors.

The Philippines over the last five years has emerged as a business hub for diverse IT markets such as contact centers, software development, design and engineering, animation and graphic design, medical and legal transcription, and financial and HR-related BPO.

The Kearney Index of 2004 ranked the Philippines among the top ten locations for business process outsourcing, scoring high in the both financial and HR indexes.

The Philippines as an IT and ITES hub

The Philippines’ IT-enabled services sector has been rapidly growing aided over the last few years due to the country’s many attractive attributes as an ideal e-services hub:

  • Based on the study by neoIT, a leading offshore advisory and management firm for BPO and ITO, the Philippines is the second top global sourcing provider in Business Process Outsourcing and Call Center, with a diverse portfolio of outsource-ready cities namely Manila, Cebu, Davao, Clark, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, Bacolod, Baguio and Dumaguete.
  • The Filipino workforce is consistently ranked as among the very best in Asia by such international authorities as the Economist Intelligence Unit and Swiss International Institute for Management Development (IIMD). The Philippines graduates approximately 385,000 young professionals a year, with English as the primary medium of instruction.
  • World-class telecom infrastructure is one of the chief benefits of the Philippines' leadership in fostering a liberalized business environment in Asia. The Philippines was the first Asian country to liberalize its telecom sector, and demonstrates several important benefits as a result. For instance, it is a leader in all types of wireless communication, both data and voice. And communications costs are among the lowest in the region.
  • A pro-business, pro-investor government welcomes the opportunity to create jobs and boost economic growth through investment in ITES and other progressive sectors. One hundred percent foreign ownership is permitted, and substantial financial incentives are available to investors through the Board of Investment and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, including tax holidays and duty-free importation of capital equipment.
  • Government policies are attuned to business with the enactment of the E-Commerce Law, Intellectual Property Code, including policies on data security.
  • It has internationally awarded real estate developers offering dedicated ITES locations that feature redundant communications infrastructure and world-class facilities in Metro Manila as well as in provincial urban centers. Based on CB Richard Ellis’ Global 50 Index study in 2004, the real estate availability and quality in the Philippines is one of the best in the regions.
  • Its strategic location is readily accessible from the major travel centers of the world, namely Hongkong, Singapore, London, and Los Angeles to name a few.
  • A western-influenced educational system assures a steady supply of knowledge workers. Government and the private sector are working closely together to refine curricula to reflect the requirements of ITES sectors for graduates with strong hard science and language skills throughout the academic system. Also, its accounting practices adhere to the US’ Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
  • The banking sector is among Asia's most modern, and is closely aligned with international banking and investment practices.
  • It offers hospitable lifestyle for expatriates. In a survey by PERC Hongkong (2000), the Philippines is the top choice of expatriates in terms of quality of life among other Asia Pacific countries, for reasons such as friendliness, value for money housing, modern recreational facilities, and first rate educational institutions.

For information, please contact: CITEM’s IT Services and Electronics Division at telephone numbers 832 5044; 831 2201-09 local 212, 251, or 278.

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Felicitas Reyes
CITEM
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