Super Typhoon Haiyan recently roared through the Philippines with devastating consequences for many residents. The economic impact will take months to assess, but early estimates show that Typhoon Haiyan sheared roughly $14 billion from the Filipino economy, according to data from risk-assessment firm Kinetic Analysis. This estimate would have been even higher, but the storm missed the capital of Manila, which is responsible for a third of the country's $250 billion annual economic output.
Despite the damage and hardship, it is believed that the Philippines will continue its rise as an outsourcing mecca. Next year could be a banner year for the Filipino outsourcing market as the industry continues to grow in both size and complexity of services offered.
The Philippines has long been one of the world’s top destinations for call centers and voice-based BPO services, and is a leader in KPO. According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), there will be one million Filipinos to be employed by the BPO industry by mid-2014 and the number could possibly reach to 1.5 million by 2016. In the last year, many foreign companies have begun outsourcing processes that require much higher levels of skill and expertise, especially in the areas of finance, accounting and legal services. There are a number of key factors contributing to optimism in this region including:
• The Philippines is ranked as Asia's second biggest outsourcing destination after India. Advantages such as cheaper labor, lower cost of living, and large English speaking educated communities, are the exclusive advantages in legal outsourcing to the Philippines.
• The Philippines is becoming more politically stable. Under the leadership of President Gloria Arroyo, Philippines has been successful in providing a positive political atmosphere. As a result of the president’s reforms, foreign investors maintain and increase their confidence to do business with the country.
• Call centers have been the foundation of the success of the Philippine outsourcing industry. Analysts are predicting greater growth than initially forecasted – increased from $11.1 billion to $11.4 billion, according to the projection of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP). Further, the 2015 projection was adjusted from $12.8 billion to $13.1 billion, indication confidence in this region’s ability to lead call center outsourcing.
• The Philippines has a strong IT infrastructure and support system which support the booming outsourcing industry. The technological growth of the past decade has enabled Filipinos to put their educations and skills to work as virtual employees of corporations everywhere.
• Legal outsourcing to the Philippines has been mainly based in metro Manila. But many other smaller cities in the Philippines, such as Cebu, Davao and Clark, are becoming LPO centers, which is strengthening and expanding the region’s stronghold on outsourcing.
• Legal Process Outsourcing providers in the Philippines offer services in specialized legal services like legal transcription, data entry work, immigration paper work, litigation support, legal coding, court reporting, legal research and legal animation.
The Philippines is a fertile ground for outsourcing as it provides inexpensive operational costs, an ambitious and talented labor pool, and a Western-friendly culture. In the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan, the Philippines can rely on outsourcing as a platform to help the country recuperate and rebuild. There is every indication to believe they will do just that.
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The Global Outsourcing Association of Lawyers (GOAL) is the world’s first membership-based, non-political international organization for the legal outsourcing industry.
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