BPO: Bright light in sea of global gloom

MANILA, Philippines—Business outsourcing may not be the most glamorous industry in the world but it is one of the few bright lights amid the doom and gloom of the global financial crisis.

The two countries which have benefited the most from outsourcing—India and the Philippines—expect to see some initial pain from the financial turmoil but the industry is confident it will ride out the storm.

In the Philippines, the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry expects growth this year of between 35 and 40 percent on revenues of around $7 billion.

Rick Santos, the Philippine country chair for global property services company CB Richard Ellis, said the crisis would “actually drive more BPO business to the Philippines.”

“You will see many more companies having to go offshore just to survive,” Santos said.

He said he expects about 502,000 square meters (5.4 million square feet) of Philippine office space to be leased this year, up 52 percent from 2007.

“We are part of the solution, not part of the problem,” Oscar Sanez, chief executive of the Business Processing Association of the Philippines, said in a recent interview

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