Archive for May, 2010

Commerce Flows into Subic, Philippines

Subic Bay, Philippines is bordered on the east by Zambales mountains and the South China Sea on the west. A former US Naval base, Subic is now a freeport zone and a gateway for the transportation of goods. And, while it’s topography is more of a jungle paradise, technology, infrastructure, and industry have changed the landscape and the standard of living in the community. Real estate and BPO companies doing business in the Philippines are rising fast in the area and investors are now looking at Subic as a top BPO destination in the country.

Real Estate Flourishes in Manila Bay

Historic Manila Bay, considered one of the best natural harbors in Southeast Asia, is currently experiencing a real estate boom. The bay serves as the primary port of Manila and is famous for its picturesque sunsets. Entry to Manila Bay is flanked by several islands, the largest among them being Corregidor, which is 3 kilometers from Bataan and, along with the island of Caballo, separates the mouth of the bay into the North and South Channels.

Global BPO: Philippines vs. Latin America

As the global Business Process Outsourcing “BPO” market continues to expand, outsourcing destinations like Latin America and the Philippines are seeing more foreign investors and increasing annual revenue.  These areas expect a 30-40% profit upswing from BPO for the first quarter of 2010.

Latin American BPO is poised for growth, with large multinationals like Citigroup, Pfizer, and Ford setting up operations in the area. Other international offshore players in the area include TCS, Convergys and IBM. Latin American countries offer a number of fragmented domestic IT and BPO services, which enable bigger companies to capitalize on local acquisitions. Proximity to the United States and similar time zones may have led to 32% growth in voice transcription services in 2009 for the region.  Whatever the reason, the tides are shifting toward Latin American shores and away from India, the traditional leader in the voice transcription field.

OFW Demand Stabilizes Philippine Economy

Manpower resources are one of the Philippines’ greatest exports. Presently, over eleven percent of the population are employed as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and Filipino communities are found in almost every industrialized nation in the world. The OFW diaspora regularly injects dollars into the economy in the form of remittances from Filipino professionals working abroad sending money home to their families. This has assisted the Philippine government immensely, and kept the local economy afloat.

Online Gaming Boosts Philippine Economy

Fueled by advancements in computer technology, the Online Gaming industry has become one of the biggest moneymakers in the Philippines today. As responsible online gaming becomes an accepted form of recreation or diversion for a number of Filipinos, the annual profits of online casinos, bingo and sports-betting companies keep increasing at a tremendous rate. PhilWeb, one of the largest online gaming companies in the Philippines today, posted a profit increase of 52% in the first quarter of 2010 alone. Company revenues also rose by 42%, totaling to about Php 239 million. The number is still expected to double, even as the year progresses.

Real Estate Flourishes in Cebu, Stirs Investor Interest

Cebu is the oldest city in the Philippines and one of the foremost domestic shipping ports in the country. Rife with historical significance, the city is now home to the largest commercial center outside Manila and one of the fastest growing real-estate markets in the country. Hailed as the “Queen of the South”, Cebu is a developed metropolis with the idyllic charms of an exotic island destination. The city boasts a number of central business districts, IT Parks and special economic zones that have made it an ideal investment destination for foreign and local companies doing business in the Philippines.

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is one of the fastest growing industries in the Philippines today. Since it’s advent, the industry has experienced a steady growth in annual revenue, boasting a 23% increase in 2009 alone. To date, the Philippines covers about 21% of the global BPO market, and is considered a prime outsourcing destination in Southeast Asia.

Outsourcing companies in the Philippines can opt for either PEZA or BOI Registration to obtain tax incentives in their respective fields of enterprise. Registering with either PEZA or BOI offers numerous benefits for start-up companies in the country, including easier visa processing for expat employees. However, only certain types of enterprises are eligible for PEZA or BOI registration and registrants must comply with the conditions of their respective registration agreements.

According to Amanda Carpo, senior corporate lawyer of Kittelson & Carpo Consulting, “Companies setting up operations in the Philippines must carefully weigh their options before registering with either PEZA or BOI. This will not only prevent unnecessary mistakes from being made, it will also ensure that your company receives the best possible benefits, under the best possible conditions.”