Qualithoughts by: Nicky Gonzalez, Business Process Management Industry Specialist, SparQ

Many companies have established offshore business processing centres in the Philippines for cost efficiency reasons. The highly educated work force with its fluency in the English language and Western influenced culture makes it a very attractive destination for the global industry. Today, more and more companies are also using their Philippine operations to fulfil a more critical and strategic role: that of a customer support platform for their expansion into the many other Asian markets.

The Philippines enjoys a central and very strategic location in Southeast Asia, currently the world’s fastest growing region. The country also benefits from a diverse population, with large numbers of speakers of the Chinese, Japanese, Arabic and Korean languages, to name a few. With many other nationals who have settled in the Philippines, there are also good numbers of native speakers of many European languages.

The Philippines is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). For 2015, ASEAN broke down the barriers for the free movement of people of ASEAN nationalities within the region. With the open environment, sourcing native speakers for the various other Southeast Asian languages, such as Thai, Bahasa, Cambodian or Vietnamese, among others, has become even easier. The access to a multitude of languages combined with the Philippine expertise in customer support has thus made the country a very attractive proposition for companies looking to establish a regional support centre for Asia.

A major endorsement for the Philippines’ role as a regional support centre came from the European Union. The EU-Philippines Business Network (EPBN) was established in 2014, whose purpose is to assist European and Philippine companies in establishing partnerships that would then boost efforts of European businesses in search of new markets in Asia. The EPBN is currently in its formative stages but is already showing great promise and potential among its participants. Through the EPBN, European firms will now have valuable partners to ensure the success of their forays into Asia.

Originally posted at SparQtours.com