Philippines eyes more free trade with US on back of Trump visit

NOV 13 – The Philippines has proposed the expansion of its free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States during a meeting between Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and US President Donald Trump. During the bilateral meeting in Manila, the Philippines said an FTA would be even more beneficial to the Philippine economy.

The officials at the bilateral meeting also discussed how the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry has been such a successful contributor to the Philippine economy. Many US firms have already set up offices in various parts of the country though some had decided to postpone their investments due to the anti-outsourcing sentiments of the Trump administration.

IT entrepreneurship could make up for IT-BPM slowdown

NOV 13 – Cebu IT BPM Organization (CIB.O) president Gregg Victor Gabison has identified information technology (IT) entrepreneurship as one of the sectors that may help make up for a slowdown in the IT-Business Process Management (IT-BPM) sector. Technology startups, Gabison said, can create a window of opportunity that local graduates and outsourcing employees can explore.

Gabison said more startups are gaining ground and more incubation centers are expected to be built. Cebu’s IT-BPM industry has seen signs of resiliency in recent years despite a broader slowdown. Gabison said that while some companies have halted operations in Cebu, there are still new ones coming in.

Philippines, Facebook sign high-speed internet deal

NOV – 15 The problems of slow internet speed in the country may be addressed soon, following an agreement signed by the Philippine government and Facebook. The deal calls for both parties to cooperate in building a high-speed internet infrastructure. The agreement involves the creation of the Philippine government’s first cable landing station, which is expected to be online by 2019.

Under the deal a 250-km trans-Pacific fiber optic submarine cable system managed by EDGE will be built to carry Internet traffic across the Pacific between the United States and Asia. The government is hopeful that the problem on slow interest speed in the Philippines will be addressed soon after with the partnership.

PLDT in outsourcing talks with Huawei, Amdocs

NOV 16 – PLDT Inc is in talks with Amdocs and Huawei for the outsourcing of some of its information technology (IT) functions. PLDT chairman and chief executive officer Manuel V. Pangilinan told reporters that the telco and digital services provider is currently in discussions with the two firms for the outsourcing service.

A major part of the company’s IT processes will be affected by the outsourcing although the number of affected positions has yet to be determined. Pangilinan said the target is to reach an agreement by yearend, with some contracts with Huawei already having been signed. Earlier, PLDT was in talks with technology giant IBM for the same purpose.

IT and business services revenues hit USD475bn in H1

NOV 17 – Market intelligence provider IDC said global revenues for IT services and business services reached USD475bn in the first six months of the year. The figure represents a 4% year-on-year rise. With growth in the first half, IDC expects worldwide services revenues to exceed USD1tr next year.

IT services have delivered more than two thirds of the overall services revenue during the period, while revenues from business services grew faster than the overall market at 6% year over year. By location, the US was the largest services market with revenues of USD216.7bn in H1. Western Europe was the second largest region followed by Asia Pacific.