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Freeman Cebu Business

BPOs told: Start exploring tieups within ASEAN bloc

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Philippines is encouraged to take advantage of its edge in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and start exploring partnerships within the ASEAN bloc.

"Start exploring other ASEAN countries, because they will need to tie-up to use Filipino workers to market their outsourcing services," recommended economist Bernardo Villegas, adding that IT related and outsourcing industry in the Philippines should not only limit its growth outlook within the country, but expand its presence in other ASEAN sites.

  Villegas said this is important specifically for Filipino outsourcing service companies to explore and forge partnerships in the ASEAN. Other member countries have already started offering outsourcing services to main markets like United States and Europe.

  English fluency and its long and successful experience in the outsourcing business would be the Philippines' main bargain to enter other country's outsourcing sectors, he said.

 "It is now a great opportunity for the Philippines to lead in the ASEAN outsourcing and IT related businesses," said Villegas.

  Meanwhile, In the services sector alone, the BPO is seeing the Philippines' leadership in the region's offshoring sector.

Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP) chairman Raffy S. David earlier said that the industry will not be affected on the One ASEAN community, in fact, the Philippines can leverage on the integration.

He said the Philippines will be able showcase its proficiency in the English language, and ultimately the ASEAN will become one of the biggest markets for the Philippines.

 If supported with right policies and attractive offers, the Philippines' could take advantage of its ability to take the spotlight in the regional outsourcing positioning in the ASEAN, an Indian outsourcing executive said.

"ASEAN integration could be the next big thing for the Philippines — in terms of regional power-play," said Jibin Arjunan, Wipro regional head for Asia Pacific and Japan.

  Arjunan said that the Philippines should maximize its leverage in the outsourcing business, and the lower cost of living could attract both outsourcing companies here, as well as people from other ASEAN countries to consider working in the Philippines.

  Currently, Arjunan said the regional big  players in IT and outsourcing are Singapore and Malaysia. The Philippines, he said has huge potential to take the spotlight from these countries, bringing interest of good regional manpower to work here, if a good policy that favors manpower mobility is introduced.

  Likewise, good incentive come-ons for companies to make the Philippines, regional head, is needed.

  According to Arjunan, ASEAN people like those that from Thailand and Malaysia will be interested to work in the Philippines, and help to rescue the depleting good talent pool, if this angle of opportunity will be taken into serious consideration.  (FREEMAN)

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