Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Philippines explores business opportunities in the US

The Philippine trade delegation to the United States met with key business groups in New York, Florida, Chicago, and Denver in a bid to promote the Philippine capabilities in the United States market.

The trade delegation were joined by eleven companies who represented the Philippine advantage in shared services and business processing work.

“We wanted to see the opportunities available for Philippine companies in areas like IT products, information services, software development, and telecommunications to name a few,” reported Trade Assistant Secretary Fe Agoncillo-Reyes, executive director of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotion arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The Philippines, according to Agoncillo-Reyes, can also be an investment gateway for American companies looking into expanding their business in Asia.

The United States remains the Philippines’ primary source market for outsourced business processes and contact center services.

“We would like to help our small enterprises in the BPO space who want to collaborate with international partners through this trade and investment mission. These local enterprises are going to be crucial players in the knowledge-based economy and the US mission can become a strong bridge for partnerships and investments,” added Agoncillo-Reyes. “Also, we hope to invite delegations from the United States to attend e-Services Philippines, the government’s flagship show for our players in the IT and ITES industries.”

“If we are to leverage on our unique attachment to the US model, there are vast opportunities present for customer contact center, business back office, human resources work, content management and development, arts and engineering, procurement, software and medical transcription,” said Agoncillo-Reyes. “The challenge is to position the Philippines as a preferred sourcing destination of choice for US companies.”

In addition, other niche areas that the Philippines wants to explore in the United States are food, natural products, construction materials, and design-driven products. Early this year, the Philippines’ raw materials such as abaca, bamboo, capiz to name a few were developed into new applications by Filipino and international designers at Material Connexion New York. The Philippine participation highlighted the country’s rich resources that have tremendous potential for new, innovative designs. Also, the Philippine herbal and organic products exhibited at the Natural Products Expo West in California this year generated USD11 million, proof of the country’s potential as a source of health and wellness products and services.


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