European BPOs to expand in the Philippines

By Czeriza Valencia, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 08 2012 08:26 AM | Updated as of Feb 08 2012 09:03 PM

MANILA, Philippines -  European firms engaged in business process outsourcing (BPO) are expected to expand their operations in the Philippines this year as the sector continues to be strong in the country, European Union Ambassador to the Philippines Guy Ledoux said.

“This (BPO sector) is a way for European companies to increase their competitiveness...so European companies in the BPO sector will also expand their operations in 2012,” he said.

The BPO sector, considered as a sunshine industry in the Philippines, is forecast to grow 20 percent in 2012. By 2011, the Philippines has overtaken India as the the top BPO destination in the world. More than 500,000 Filipinos are currently employed in BPO firms.

Ledoux said 10 percent of BPO companies currently operating in the Philippines are European companies.

Aside from BPO, Ledoux said that this year, European firms are also eyeing investments in renewable energy, noting that as of last year, 70 percent of new power generation capacity in Europe are renewable energy sources.

“The EU is very strong in renewable energy... European investors are waiting for a decision on feed in tariffs,” he said.

EU firms also eye expansion in electronics, a sector that continues to post high growth because of strong demand for mobile phones and tablet computers.

Ledoux said that as far as foreign investment and trade between the Philippines and EU are concerned, the flow of European investments into the Philippines will depend on the investment climate in the Philippines more than on the economic situation in Europe.

“At this stage it is difficult to predict the level of trade and investment between the EU and the Philippines in 2012. There is clearly a strong willingness by both the government of the Philippies and the European Union to further expand our economic links. Efforts are being made by both side to create a conducive climate that will attract European investor to the Philippines and expand two way trade,” he said.