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BPO sector expected to continue to thrive

SANTOS (second from left) shares a light moment with CBRE Philippines’ Global Research & Consultancy Group head Jan Custodio (left), Investment Properties & Capital Markets team manager Kash Salvador and Corporate Agency & Brokerage department director Morgan McGilvray as the firm celebrates its 20th year at Fairmont Hotel in Makati.ROMY HOMILLADA

SANTOS (second from left) shares a light moment with CBRE Philippines’ Global Research & Consultancy Group head Jan Custodio (left), Investment Properties & Capital Markets team manager Kash Salvador and Corporate Agency & Brokerage department director Morgan McGilvray as the firm celebrates its 20th year at Fairmont Hotel in Makati.ROMY HOMILLADA

The Philippines’ business process outsourcing (BPO) sector will continue to thrive in the coming years. This was the prediction made by CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) Philippines Inc. Rick M. Santos, chair and chief executive officer who founded the company two decades ago.

During the press briefing for the company’s 20th anniversary, Santos attributed this to the conducive environment—an excellent pool and low cost of skilled labor, outstanding customer service, a quality destination and one of the cheapest rental rates and highest yields in Asia—the country provides for foreign investors.

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Moreover, CBRE Philippines revealed the launch of its specialist “CBRE-BPO services” to the needs of the exponentially-rising business sector that is expected to generate more than $25 billion in revenues by next year.

To be offered are transactional services, project management, facilities management and technical services.

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The company continues to represent the country to the international BPO real estate community and serve as the main driver of the top global BPO firms to operate here.

Lifeboat

“The Philippines is becoming the lifeboat for many US and European companies that need to outsource to make their businesses survive and actually preserve jobs back in the US and Europe,” Santos said.

The country is making progress at an accelerated pace with real estate as one of its driving forces. CBRE is helping push the growth of the BPO sector—part of the real estate industry—by bringing in investors. Its push on the sector has catapulted the nation into its global status as “Call Center Capital of the World.”

The BPO industry is expected to generate 1.3 million jobs by 2016 and has transformed the country into a 24/7 economy, contributing to the expansion of other sectors like manufacturing, retail and hospitality, according to Santos.

The local real estate market is sustaining its momentum with the country’s bullish economy, young demographics and consumption-driven market, Santos said.

BPO ecosystems

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With the growth of the BPO industry, the real estate business has changed and the central business district (CBD) areas of Makati and Taguig (Bonifacio Global City or BGC) have been transformed into BPO hubs. These hubs have evolved into new ecosystems whereby the establishment of one BPO center has resulted in the birth of new commercial and residential development in the same area to support the needs of BPO workers.

Among these new ecosystems that sprung from BPO communities are BGC, Taguig (McKinley Hill), Makati City, Quezon City, Manila Bay reclamation area, Alabang, Clark in Pampanga and Cebu City.

CBRE Philippines’ active support to the BPO real estate industry is indirectly helping create new jobs for Filipinos, now with more than 1.5 million staff. This helps address the nation’s unemployment issues that lead to the migration of Filipino workers to foreign countries.

Top driver

The BPO sector is still the top driver for investment in the country, with demand being sustained by its cost-effectiveness and demographic dividend. Contributing to the country’s positive appeal to investors are its strong macroeconomic growth with a 5.6-percent gross domestic product and high foreign direct investments.

In 1995, just when the local BPO sector began, CBRE Philippines facilitated the entry of international BPO companies to the country by providing them with the best workspace locations as well as efficient property and facilities management services.

It has also brought in a number of international BPO companies and has been working hand in hand with them from the 1990s until now and has continually enjoyed its mutual success.

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