This week's round up of news items about outsourcing in the Philippines will surely be of great interest to companies already doing business in the country and those companies planning to outsource or become trading partners with local businesses.
India's Modi hails the Philippines as 'services powerhouse' (November 14, 2017)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, November 13, likened the Philippines to India and hailed it as a powerhouse in the services sector.
"The Philippines is a services powerhouse just as India is. And, just as in India, here in [the] Philippines also, the government wants to see change, bring about inclusive growth, develop infrastructure, and fight corruption," Modi said on Monday at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Business and Investment Summit in Parañaque City.
Modi said it doesn't come as a surprise to him that many Indian IT companies are investing in the Philippines.
"No wonder so many of our top IT companies have invested here. They are creating thousands of jobs and promoting the Philippines' services sector worldwide," he added.
Trump commits to study trade deal between US, PH (November 14, 2017)
US President Donald Trump yesterday promised to study the proposal for the United States to have a free trade agreement (FTA) with the Philippines.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the American leader had promised to study the trade proposal during his 40-minute bilateral meeting with President Duterte on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit.
"The Philippines is appreciative of the General System of Preference (GSP) and suggested that a free trade agreement also be concluded between the US and the Philippines," Roque said.
"President Trump said that they will study the matter," he added.
Roque said Mr. Trump also noted that Japanese cars were coming into the country duty-free while there were tariffs on imported American cars.
"President Trump singled out the issue on tariffs being imposed on US automobiles while these tariffs are not being imposed on Japanese cars," Roque said.
"It was observed that the BPO (business processing outsourcing) industry has become very important to the Philippines, and they will probably think of a way to reduce the trade surplus between the Philippines and the United States," he added.
Philippine economy grows 6.9% in Q3 (November 17, 2017)
The Philippines is among the fastest-growing economies in Asia, expanding more than 6 per cent for nine consecutive quarters.
Industry grew 7.5 per cent, services by 7.1 per cent, and agriculture, 2.5 per cent, reversing declines in the second quarter.
Mr Pernia said growth in the service sector showed that the outsourcing industry - a pillar of the Philippine economy along with remittances - has not slackened. There had been concern that protectionist policies under United States President Donald Trump could lead to a downturn in the industry.
Growth is underpinned in large part by consumer spending, which is fuelled by the outsourcing industry and remittances from overseas Filipino workers.
Consumer spending, which makes up about 70 per cent of gross domestic product, grew 4.5 per cent from a year earlier.
'BPO sector to end 2017 on positive note' (November 21, 2017)
The Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) remains optimistic that the business-process outsourcing (BPO) sector will post positive growth by the end of the year.
The Ibpap noted that investment pledges registered at the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) continues to show signs of recovery. Rey Untal, IBPAP's president and CEO, noted that the proposed Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) has also buoyed the sentiment of major BPO players.
"We will definitely end the year in growth, but I can't give a figure. The latest version of the TRAIN bill at the Senate has been very favorable and supportive of what the industry is espousing," Untal told the BusinessMirror.
Untal said the improving sentiment of BPO players has helped turnaround the performance of the sector in terms of PEZA investment pledges.