HSBC upbeat on PH-India trade
British banking giant HSBC sees ample opportunities for Philippine enterprises to set up businesses in India, a country with which the country has built one of the oldest business corridors.
In a press chat on Tuesday, HSBC Philippines chief executive officer Wick Veloso said there were opportunities for the Philippines to benefit from greater trade with India, particularly in the areas of cheap medicine, pharmaceutical equipment, business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, engineering, technology, infrastructure and some areas of manufacturing like cars and food.
These days, Indian businessmen in the Philippines were seen moving from historic niches such as garments and microlending to new areas. This is especially as Pres. Rodrigo Duterte has placed great importance in the country’s relationship with India, which the president visited recently.
India can potentially supply more goods and services needed by the Philippines, Veloso said, adding that instead of being viewed as a competitor in the BPO space, India and the Philippines could find ways to work together.
“They also get to realize that cost in the Philippines is significantly lower. Clearly, they are still ahead in technical aspects of the BPO, but cost is a factor,” Veloso said.
At present, average overhead cost in the BPO industry is about $1,100 per worker per month in India compared to only about $500 in the Philippines, he noted.
“If you take a look at the consumer potential of India, we would like to bring more of the country’s goods and services to India and not just the other way around,” Veloso said.
HSBC also deems the Philippines as a “tried and tested” diversification destination for IT companies in India.
Veloso said he’s optimistic that Filipino companies would have the capacity to compete in new overseas markets like India. He cited the strategy of one major conglomerate which was now manufacturing motorbikes and putting up factories in other parts of Asia.
The banker added that India could be a powerful ally to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a natural partner for growth, adding that the country could benefit from a strong India-ASEAN partnership.
Presently, most of HSBC’s Indian clients are involved in BPO and services.
Many Indian businesses are also seen becoming interested in infrastructure opportunity in the Philippines.
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