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RP set to overtake India in business outsourcing 

MANILA, Philippines -- THE PHILIPPINES is poised to overtake India as the world's top provider of business process outsourcing services as industry players firm up their strength and marketing efforts.

Cesar B. Bautista, co-chairman of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the Indian cyber services sector was losing its edge as telecommunication infrastructure get saturated and costs go up.

"At the same time, our BPO sector has started strengthening their organization into something like India's Nasscom [National Association of Software and Services Companies], which can represent the members as a bigger and more influential entity," Bautista said.

He was alluding to the Business Process Association of the Philippines, which he said could now be more decisive because it had reformed its structure, unlike the "weak" group it had been in the past years.

Bautista, a former trade secretary who now represents the private sector in the NCC, said it was only expected that the Philippines would emerge as a leading provider of BPO services despite coming into it later than India did.

He noted that information technology-enabled services had become the fastest growing sector in the economy, which is expected to be providing some 400,000 jobs by the end of this year compared to 8,000 in 2000.

"Our cyber services sector is growing much than that of India and the projection that by 2010, the industry would represent a million jobs and $12 billion in revenues is not farfetched," Bautista said.

To prove his point, Bautista cited to a report that US-based research firm Frontier Strategy Group released earlier this month, which identified the Philippines as one of seven markets that would drive corporate profit growth in 2008 and beyond.

Titled "Shift from the BRIC to the Future 7," the study showed that the country--along with Indonesia, inland Brazil (as opposed to the coastal areas), inland China, Mexico, Turkey and Vietnam--was replacing the BRIC countries (coastal Brazil, Russia, urban India, and coastal China) as markets of fast growth.

Based on FSG's survey of at least 100 top executives from top performing firms in the world, 86 percent said the Philippines was a top destination in the Asia-Pacific-together with inland China, Vietnam and Indonesia.

--By Ronnel Domingo
Last updated 06:06pm (Mla time) 09/23/2007



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