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Cebu needs BPO-ready offices to attract fresh investments

Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - February 2, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu should have more office spaces to offer to lure potential investors now that it’s considered as the world’s 7th most preferred outsourcing destination, a trade official said.

 Nelia Navarro, assistant regional chief of the Department of Trade and Industry in Central Visayas, said: “We can have those additional investments if we will have the ready facilities that can accommodate them.”

 In an interview, Navarro said Cebu real estate developers have to invest into office development to meet the anticipated demand for ready-to-use office buildings from outsourcing companies.

 According to property consultancy firm Colliers, business process outsourcing (BPO) firms still account for more than half of the office property market.

 In a report late last year, Colliers said that new developments are expected to augment the growing need for spaces in Cebu. It said the Cebu market has grown more than 57 percent in demand since 2013.

 “Such demand is attributable to a combination of organic growth and the arrival of new BPO and KPO (knowledge process outsourcing) locators,” Colliers said.

 Investment advisory firm Tholons has now included nine Philippine cities in its 2016 top global BPO destinations list, with Dumaguete City in Negros, a new entrant, now on the 93rd spot.

 National Economic and Development Authority Regional Chief Efren Carreon said the growing outsourcing industries of Cebu and Dumaguete will have a positive impact on employment.

 “More investments mean more jobs and more jobs mean increased income that leads to higher demand for goods and services,” Carreon told The FREEMAN.

 That robust consumer demand can also trigger increase in production, which also leads to more jobs in manufacturing and services sectors, he added. 

 Navarro also stressed Cebu’s talent pool in the BPO sector must be improved in terms of quality and supply to stay competitive.

 Tholons, for its part, said it remains bullish on Cebu’s long-term potential as a global services outsourcing destination. — (FREEMAN)

ACIRC CEBU CEBU AND DUMAGUETE CENTRAL VISAYAS DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY DUMAGUETE CITY NATIONAL ECONOMIC AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY REGIONAL CHIEF EFREN CARREON NAVARRO NBSP NELIA NAVARRO THOLONS
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