Under colonial rule by the Spanish and then the US before gaining independence in 1946, the Philippines is a natural gateway from the West to the broader Southeast Asia market. With a top-quality education system and increasingly creative business culture, it offers an environment suitable for long-term outsourcing partnerships.
Talent Pool & Education
The Philippines offers a highly educated and English-speaking workforce. Its growing digital economy is predicted to be worth $25 billion by 2025. Key trends include automation replacing routine business process outsourcing tasks along with core skills such as big data, data analytics, cyber security, blockchain, digital commerce and fintech becoming increasingly in demand. The government has doubled its investment in information and communications technology packages and IT infrastructure in public schools, with a focus on digital literacy ranging from basic coding to mobile app development.
The Philippines has attained bilingual status: English is an official language, alongside Filipino, and is widely spoken, so there is exceptional proficiency even in business and technical language ability.
Following a deep recession in 2020, the economy is expected to recover “over the forecast horizon,” according to an analysis by the World Bank. However, growth prospects depend on the future ability to manage the COVID-19 health crisis. At the height of the outbreak, unemployment surged to 17.5%. Economists have cited business process outsourcing as a major contributor to the resiliency of the economy amid the pandemic, in emerging sectors such as insurance, life sciences, healthcare, and data analytics.
The campaign season is underway, with Vice President Leni Robredo and current frontrunner Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (son of the former dictator) vying to replace President Rodrigo Duterte in the upcoming May 9 elections. Duterte’s tenure has seen a bloody “war on drugs” – which Robredo has labeled a failure – and the strengthening of relations with China in a shift away from the Philippines’ traditionally close ties with the US.