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Cebu tops Asian BPO hub; Makati slides — survey


By Ayen Infante

03/03/2010 [ tribune.net.ph ]

A global survey on preferred business process outsourcing (BPO) sites has stricken off Makati City, where the local BPO boom started, among top Asian BPO cities but named Cebu as the top outsourcing hub in Asia.

The 2008 global outsourcing list of Tholons, a strategic advisory firm for global outsourcing and investments, ranked Cebu City as the top Asian outsourcing city, followed by Shanghai and Beijing in China.

Three other Philippine cities — all in Metro Manila — are included in the top 18 Asian outsourcing cities: Pasig, Quezon City and Mandaluyong.

Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado said it was unfortunate that the country’s acknowledged financial capital is losing out in the BPO boom.

“The impact is being felt by mostly the middle class residents of Makati who would otherwise be recipients of jobs and business opportunities in BPOs, especially call centers,” Mercado said.

Mercado admitted Makati’s business support services have deteriorated, turning off many investors, including BPO firms.

He said Makati needs to regain its competitive edge, starting with a city government-driven campaign to address weaknesses and problems with key business services.

“Makati needs to regain its competitive edge. The private sector is looking to the city government to institute programs to attract BPO investments. Sadly, city hall does not seem to realize the urgency of the problem,” Mercado said.

Mercado added the city government has not been able to match the investments poured in by neighboring cities in education and infrastructure to suit the demands of BPO firms.

“While we read glowing accounts of investors being bullish about the Philippines as a BPO destination, most of them are locating in other cities in Metro Manila. As a result, residents in these cities get better opportunities for employment and livelihood, as well as skills training and education,” Mercado added.

“I have received unflattering reports about the way city hall has been treating our businessmen and potential investors. This has greatly contributed to the drop in the city’s overall competitiveness as a business haven,” Mercado noted.

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