The Outsourcing Week in Review: Thursday, September 2, 2021

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Welcome to Inside Outsourcing: The Outsourcing Week in Review

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

The Philippine contact center industry has remained resilient and sustained enviable growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic, said the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP). To support this, CCAP cited Everest Group’s 2.7% to 3.2% growth forecast in the country’s contact center and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector from 2020 to 2022.

In addition, the Healthcare Information Management System (HIMS) industry is expected to grow up to 10% this year “due to the increasing demand for talent in the country.” According to Healthcare Information Management Association of the Philippines (HIMAP) Vice President Vincent Remo, companies may find outsourcing an attractive option as costs and margin pressures of the pandemic continue to rise. This is especially true since healthcare services are continually expanding to cover higher-value services.

The Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) announced the resignation of President and CEO Rey Untal, effective September 17. The statement did not disclose the reason behind the resignation, but the agency thanked Untal’s “for having advocated strongly for the Philippine IT-BPM industry throughout his tenure and making certain that the sector’s collective voice was heard by various stakeholders.” For now, IBPAP Board Chairman Benedict Hernandez will assume the role of Officer-in-Charge as IBPAP searches for Untal’s successor.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is looking at Artificial Intelligence (AI) “as the next center for excellence after BPO.” Under the agency’s AI Roadmap, the Philippines will establish the National Center for AI Research with the Asian Institute for Management Data Science Laboratory as its technology partner as it aims to develop the country as an AI powerhouse in the South East Asian (SEA) region.

A newly-released report by First Metro Investment Corporation’s (FMIC) The Market Call and University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) revealed that Q2’s 11.8% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is about to boost the Philippines’ full-year economic expansion to about five per cent. This is a good sign, as the country is anticipating more global investments to further fuel growth. In a statement, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said that they have approved around P24.09 billion worth of Chinese investments in economic zones. These investments came from 172 Chinese locators, which are currently employing 10,518 workers. Further, Deputy Chief of Mission at Embassy of Israel in Manila Nir Balzam noted that the Israeli business community is exploring possible investment opportunities in the Philippines in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry, among others. PEZA is also appealing to Israeli pharmaceutical companies and defense industries for vaccine manufacturing and economic zone defense collaboration.

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DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez announced that a total of US$547 million was invested in Philippine startups as of 2020. Lopez added that with the implementation of the Innovative Startup Act, the agency is expecting to see that startups will address “future societal problems and challenges of the country.” For these plans to push through, the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) is hoping that the country will not still be under strict lockdown measures by October. In a virtual briefing, ECCP President Lars Wittig complimented the “effective” vaccination rollout in the urban areas of the country, adding that several European firms – especially small and medium enterprises – are planning to expand their operations in the country.

Despite these promising investments, Japan-based financial services firm Nomura listed the Philippines among its “Troubled 10” list of emerging markets (EM) that are at risk of negative outcomes from imminent monetary policy changes in the United States and slowing growth in China. However, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor Benjamin Diokno publicly disagreed with the country’s position on the list, saying that they “have a different appreciation of the Philippines’ economic and political affairs and where we are right now in managing the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.”

The Philippines also placed a disappointing 15th rank out of 20 countries in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region on Moody’s Analytics’ newly-released Relative COVID-19 Economic Risk Index. Moody’s took three factors into consideration: low vaccination rates, high incidence of new cases, and high death rates. Singapore was identified as having the lowest risk, followed by China and Cambodia.

Going to the provinces, the town of Pavia in Iloilo will welcome the first-ever call center to the city. Iloilo’s economic and investment promotion officer Velma Jane Lao said India-based firm IGT Solutions will be the first call center to locate in Pavia. The firm’s Pavia expansion is set to generate around 250 jobs before the end of the year, with the possibility of adding a thousand more employees by 2022.

Finally, Davao’s BPO sector remains the driving force that maintains the steady growth of the province’s office market. In an online forum, real estate consultancy firm Prime Philippines’ Visayas and Mindanao operations head Ruth Coyoca said that “Davao City remains stable due to strong leases from BPO locators, amid select pre-terminations and business closures among smaller players.”

The province is the future!

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Thursday, September 2, 2021

NEWS THIS WEEK

 

1 September 2021

31 August 2021

27 August 2021

26 August 2021

  • Accenture PH partners with universities for tech innovation – read article…
  • DOLE receives non-compliance reports on construction, BPO sectors – read article…
  • PH HIMS sector expected to grow by 5-10% this year – read article…
  • ADB proposes solutions to avoid job loss during Industry 5.0 shift – read article…

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