Asean integration boon to call center industry
The Philippine contact center industry is expected to reap significant benefits from the economic integration of the 10-member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, given the country’s strategic location and young, educated population.
As it is, the country’s contact center industry is experiencing “hyper growth” after overtaking India in 2011, according to Benedict Hernandez, president of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP).
Hernandez also said that “the demand and appetite are there and we anticipate that this hyper growth will continue.”
University of Asia and the Pacific economist Bernardo M. Villegas also said that the Asean bloc, which will be led by Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines, will be “strong enough” to challenge the economies of China and India in 20 years and this presents additional growth opportunities for the contact center industry.
Villegas was quoted in a statement of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines as explaining that these three Asean countries, which have a combined population of 400 million, have big domestic markets that make them relatively less susceptible to global downturns.
In contrast, the 1990s Asian tigers Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea have measly populations, little natural resources, and strong dependence on exports, Villegas said.
The anticipated integration will be marked by the establishment by Dec. 2015 of the Asean Economic Community, which will then allow Asean companies in 10 Asean member-nations to enter each other’s markets, encouraged by zero tariffs and reduced red tape.