Friday, 11 April 2008

Britain is the Philippines' largest 2007 investor

RP, China are ideal BPO, IT sites
By Estrella Torres
The Business Mirror
http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/0411&122008/companies01.html

TOP British companies are eyeing the combined strengths of China and the Philippines as better sites to India for multibillion dollar investments in business process outsourcing (BPOs) and information technology (IT).

Britain’s latest investor Strategic Back-Office Solutions (SBS) led by Stephen Lipton, chief executive officer made the assessment at the opening Thursday of the firm’s $1.5-million facility located at the McKinley Hill in Taguig City.

“For the last 12 years, we’ve been doing work for the world’s largest investment banks and financial institutions. We are very grateful to open our facility here in the Philippines... the combination of the Philippines and China is an absolute [alternative] to India,” said Lipton at the opening ceremony held at the SBS office in McKinley Hill in Taguig City.

SBS is a BPO and IT arm of Britain’s Strategic Systems Solutions (SSS), a global consultancy and outsourcing company with key offices in the United Kingdom—Leeds, Nottingham, Preston, Newcastle and its main office in Liverpool. It has also far shore offices in Horsham, US, Hangzhou in China, Singapore and now the Philippines.

Stuart Waters, SBS director for business development for Asia said the company has set up IT support services in China in 2002 and 2003. “But our first choice for BPO operations is the Philippines because of the English proficiency of the Filipinos and experience in dealing with the Western culture,” said Waters in an interview.

British ambassador to Manila Peter Beckingham noted that Britain is the Philippines’ largest investor in 2007 both in foreign direct investments and portfolio investments.

British direct investments in 2007 in the Philippines reached $446.5 million and portfolio investments amounted to $4,428.951 billion in the same year.

Beckingham said British companies continue to look into further investments in the Philippines because of the excellent English language skills of the Filipinos and their IT skills.

He noted that British outsourcing companies make prompt implementation for their investments in the Philippines citing that SBS made the decision in June 2007 and has now established its facility in McKinley Hill.

The successes of large British banks in the Philippines like HSBC and Standard Chartered continue to attract more investments from the United Kingdom, Beckingham noted.

“We are also happy to note that the British Ashmore Group has won the bidding in the sale of 40 percent stake of Saudi Aramco in Petron for $550 million,” Beckingham added.

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