Europe is the Place to be for Philippine IT/BPO Firms

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The Philippine business processing sector is growing at such a fast rate that last year the industry grew by 137 per cent or 2.5 billion dollars in revenues. During the same year, the industry saw a 53 per cent increase in the BPO workforce or 81, 000 new jobs generated.

If the figures were to speak for themselves, there is no doubt that in the global market for offshore work, the Philippines is king.

The Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP), the Board of Investments (BOI), and the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) project that the business processing industry in the Philippines will grow further to 12.4 billion dollars by 2010, creating 303, 000 new jobs and with the total BPO workforce reaching 1.1 million.

The Philippine competitiveness roots back few decades ago when multinational brands began sending their critical offshore work to the country. Dubbed as the “best kept secret” of many a global firms like Procter & Gamble, AIG, HSBC, Intel, and Shell just to name some, the Philippines became home to these brands mainly because of its highly skilled, talented workforce, cost-competitive salaries, reliable infrastructure, and business-friendly policies.

The Philippine image as a destination of choice for global companies got its biggest boost when the contact center industry started growing at an impressive rate to 42, 000 seats today from

3, 500 seats in 2001.

To further drive this growth in IT services, the Philippines through the Department of Trade and Industry’s export promotions agency, Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) is adopting a country-by-country strategy that would fit the service requirements of each region in the world.

On 13-20 September 2006, the Philippines will bring 12 IT/BPO companies to Western Europe to target European companies pressured by time to market and cost bases and looking into offshoring as a strategic alternative.

The global outsourcing market is projected to reach US$310 billion in 2008, 49% of which will come from Europe, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, one of the largest international professional services firms. The United Kingdom still stands out as Europe’s dominant market, but outsourcing has gained ground in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and France.

The financial services sector is the largest consumer of BPO-ITES services in Europe, followed by utilities and telecommunications. Human resources, finance and accounting are also showing notable growth.

“The EU trade mission is part of our ongoing promotion of the Philippine ICT capabilities to European IT/BPO markets,” said Trade Assistant Secretary Fe Agoncillo-Reyes, also head of CITEM.

The mission will include business forum on the Philippine ICT advantage, pre-arranged business meetings, and high-level networking reception.

The Philippine companies joining the mission are: Logicall (call center services); Alliance and DTSI (call center and BPO technology enabler); ADEC Solutions (diversified BPO); RG Financial Services (financial and accounting services); IT outsourcing and software firms Apsmith, BlastAsia, IAMD Software Solutions, Pointwest Technologies, Vinta; and telecom giants Innove (Globequest) and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company.

In 2005, the DTI-organized trade mission yielded business leads with Logica CMG, a leading wireless telecom leader with headquarters in the UK that decided to set up an offshore development center and in-house call center in the country; Express Gifts for outsourced call center activities; KLM Royal Dutch Airlines for a shared-facility and contact center operations; Emirates Airlines for BPO and software development services; and HSBC with a prospect to continue its expansion for Philippine-based shared services, among others.

The business mission also aims to strengthen ties with the Philippines’ counterpart organizations such as the London Chamber of Commerce, National Outsourcing Association (NOA), International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP), Intellect and London Chamber of Commerce in the UK; Federation of Netherlands IT Companies (FENIT), and The Agency for International Business and Cooperation (EVD), and in the Netherlands.

The Philippines consistently ranks among the top attractive offshore location by various research firms, such as the A.T. Kearney, Gartner, and META. British companies like Sykes, and Ambergis Solutions have established outsourcing operations in the Philippines. It is also the outsourcing location of some Dutch companies like Getronics, ING Group, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, and ABN-AMRO.

Likewise, the business mission to Europe, added Agoncillo-Reyes, is also a venue to invite overseas visitors and investors to attend e-Services Philippines 2007: Global Sourcing Exhibition and Summit (15-16 February 2007), the Philippines' annual platform for the IT and ITES industry.

The Philippine business mission to Europe this year is organized by CITEM and the BOI. For more information, please contact CITEM’s IT Services and Electronics Division at (+632) 8325044 and (+632) 8312201 locals 212, 251, and 301, or visit the website http://www.e-servicesphils.com/europe2006

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