The Outsourcing Week in Review: Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Welcome to Inside Outsourcing: The Outsourcing Week in Review

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

This week, the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines (JFC) announced its target to generate $50 billion in Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and three million new jobs in the next decade. The hefty target would require a 300 per cent increase on the $8.3bn investment generated from the prior five-year period of 2015 to 2019. The JFC announced that that Foreign investors in the Philippines are not deterred the economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that  They added that the projection is heavily relying on the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector to champion the recovery, saying that the sector “has potential to grow as companies look to reinvest economic savings after the pandemic.”

Government agencies across the board are working to attract foreign investors. This week, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) formally launched “Make It Happen in the Philippines,” a new international marketing campaign highlighting five key investment priority sectors. The campaign, which is “a promise of economic recovery to Filipinos,” urges foreign investors to look into opportunities in aerospace, automotive, copper, information technology and business process management (IT-BPM), and electronics sectors. In related news, the agency is has announced that it is reassessing its export targets for 2018-2022 to accomodate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) recently launched the “Global Biz with Peza” – a monthly global investors’ forum that allows business people, ecozone developers and operators, and national agencies to discuss their investments and businesses. The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) has come out in support of the recent Senate approval of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE) bill, however they have tempered enthusiasm for the bill’s impact, saying that ”there is still so much to do” to attract foreign direct investments (FDIs).

The Philippine unemployment rate is now showing a solid recovery as the government gradually eased restrictions to open up the economy. The country’s jobless rate for October is now at 8.7% (equivalent to 3.8 million Filipinos), which is half the 17.6% record-high hit in April. According to Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua, “this proximity to normalcy means that the informal sector is performing and the impact on poverty may be less severe than initially estimated.”

Despite the positive news coming in for the Philippines, the country’s inflation rate hit a 20-month high, as it rose to 3.3% in November. While this is outside Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) 2.4% to 3.2% goal, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said this is just a ‘temporary uptick,’ and would not affect the government’s two-to-four per cent target.

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The World Bank’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Program chose Bacolod City as one of the five pilot cities in the country for their technical assistance project, which focuses on strengthening the competitive capabilities of cities. Under the program’s main activities, Bacolod City will focus on developing its main economic development drivers – housing and property development, information technology-business process outsourcing and education.

Can’t wait to hold physical meetings, conferences, and workshops? The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has further eased its restrictions by now allowing training, seminars, conventions, and consumer trade shows, albeit at 30 per cent capacity in areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ). However, people are still required to follow physical distancing and other COVID protocols.  In Subic, 25 employees of an outsourcing company have tested positive for COVID as a result of a company gathering. Dr. Solomon Jacalne, head of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA)’s public health and safety department, said that the BPO workers attended gatherings at undisclosed venues in Olongapo City and Zambales province. The upcoming festive season should not be a reason to forget that the pandemic is not yet over.

In other BPO news, global outsourcing giant Concentrix announced the completion of its separation from SYNNEX Corporation. The newly-independent company’s CEO and President Chris Caldwell expressed the firm’s excitement “to start this next exciting chapter.” In a statement, Caldwell said, “Operating as an independent company will allow us to accelerate innovations and make additional investments that drive higher value for our clients, their customers, and our shareholders.”

Further, PEZA recently approved two new projects of Japanese firm Arkray Industry Inc. and sister company Arkray Industry West Inc., as it expands its local production of medical test kit operations in the Philippines. Currently, the group employs 500 people, which is projected to significantly increase with the proposed expansion. Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez expressed optimism, saying that the country “can really make things happen for foreign and local investors for them to grow their businesses here amidst challenges.”

While the Philippines is generally very welcoming to foreign investors, Senator Risa Hontiveros is seeking tougher immigration policies for Chinese nationals, due to the associated trouble surrounding the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator industry. Amongst other measures, the senator is pushing to suspend the Philippines’ Visa upon Arrival (VUA) scheme, where Chinese nationals don’t need to apply for visas in advance for travelling to the country.

In India, another criminal call center was busted.  This time, they agents were calling US citizens claiming to be from the Social Security Number (SSN) department and offering various SSN verification services for $100-$500 each.

 

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Wednesday, December 9, 2020

NEWS THIS WEEK

 

7 December 2020

4 December 2020

3 December 2020

  • MCVO Talent Outsourcing opens new sales office in Chicago, USA – read article…
  • 25 BPO workers in Subic tested positive for COVID-19 – read article…
  • DTI launches ‘Make It Happen in the Philippines’ campaign – read article…
  • Foreign firms group targets $50-B FDI, 3 million news jobs, for over 10 years – read article…

2 December 2020

  • Bacolod named as WB pilot city on economic recovery program – read article…
  • ‘Worrying gaps’ on internet and connectivity noted in least developed countries – read article…
  • PH to consider tougher Chinese immigration policies – read article…
  • PEZA launches direct line with investors – read article…

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