Foreign investors still confident in RP
By Miriam P. Aquino
San Fernando City, La Union (30 June) -- Despite the global financial crunch, the Philippines has kept its foot within its growth range and one very good thing is that new investments have come pouring in.
The country showed a relative slow growth in recent years, but recent data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas indicated that the country has outstripped many of its Asian neighbors despite the anticipated slowdown in economic expansion worldwide.
BSP attested to this positive outlook as it presented the data which showed its registered foreign portfolio investments in May 2009 rose by 125 percent to $977.59 million, from the $435 million in the previous month.
Inward foreign investments from January to May also exceeded capital outflows, yielding a net inflow of $276.31 million during the five-month period compared to a net outflow of US$461 million in 2008.
The turnaround or revival of investor’s risk appetite on emerging economies to which the Philippines forms part gives more strength for the country to stay on foot, amid encouraging signs of an improving United States economy.
The list of new investors who still preferred the Philippines as one of the best choice for putting up their business are the Texas Instruments (Philippines) Inc. which opened its $1.5-billion assembly and test facility at Clark Pampanga and is now employing around 3,000 workers has made its operations full blast.
Sitel, one of the world's leading business process outsourcing (BPO) service providers has opened another branch, the fourth in the country actually, last May in Pasig City and is providing 2,000-seater operational facility.
Mr. Steve Barker, Sitel's Chief Operating Officer announced the opening of another call canter facility in Baguio this July, as they are continuously seeking for opportunities in the Northern and Southern Luzon.
Another BPO service provider with a 600-seat call center facility, the German firm Bertelsmann-Arvata, opened its business in the country recently, German Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI) past President Franz Roland Odenthal cited.
The world's largest hotel chain, Best Western International, having found the Philippines as a perfect location for hotel potentials, and is actually operating 2 hotels in the country at present, plans to put up another 15 hotels in various strategic tourist destinations here in the country come 2012.
Cyndy Tan Jarabata, President of Leisure and Hospitality, a local partner of Best Western International, views the local market as "strong and not overcrowded".
Apart from being one of the best choice tourist destination worldwide and also tagged as "the most popular destination in Asia", Philippines has also been proven to have an edge in the global BPO sector as many of our workforce are very articulate, aggressive and hardworking in dealing with clients / accounts coming from different countries.
This is also one reason why apart from these mentioned companies, Japanese investments are also shifting from manufacturing to the BPO sector eyeing the Philippines to be one of their top preference. (PNA/PIA RO-LU) [top]