US, Euro firms eye local BPO sector

By Louella D. Desiderio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 07 2014 07:41 AM | Updated as of Jul 07 2014 07:40 PM

MANILA, Philippines - American and European companies are interested in checking out business opportunities in the Philippines following investment promotions conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry.

In a chance interview, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo told reporters that during his trip to the US late last month, a number of firms engaged in the business processing management (BPM) and services sector expressed interest to do business in the Philippines.

“We expect to get business but more on services sector,” he said.

Prior to that trip, Trade Undersecretary Ponciano Manalo, Jr. said the DTI wants to attract US firms engaged in the creative services sector particularly in animation and gaming development, as well as those in the healthcare information management and information technology – BPM to invest in the country.

In Europe, Trade Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal, Jr. told reporters a geothermal company from Iceland which already has presence in the Philippines, expressed strong interest to exploring more opportunities.

Cristobal was in Iceland for the signing of the Joint Declaration on Cooperation (JDC) with representatives of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
The JDC serves as an initial step to free trade agreement negotiations with the EFTA, which groups Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

Both parties agreed to finalize the principal terms of references for the scope and the process of the negotiations by September, with a view of launching negotiations before the end of the year.

Cristobal said that a high-level delegation composed of government officials and representatives of companies from Switzerland will also be arriving in the country this month for the inaugural meeting of the two countries’ Joint Economic Commission (JEC).

The meeting to be held on July 14, is an off-shoot of an agreement signed by the Philippines and Switzerland last year to establish the JEC, which will provide a mechanism to conduct regular dialogue and exchanges between the parties with the aim of improving trade and investment flows.

“We will be exchanging views on the economic outlook. We will also explore trade and investment promotion and economic cooperation projects,” Cristobal said.