Even with continuing robust growth in the last five years, the Philippines is further sustaining its position as a mature regional hub for information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) as the country’s major industry players recently highlighted the Philippines as a viable investment location for IT-BPM and showcased the competencies and proven track record of the Filipino workforce in delivering world-class services during the CeBIT Fair in Hannover, Germany recently.

IT-BPM is currently the fastest growing industry in the country.  In 2015, IT-BPM industry reached $22 billion in revenue, generating around 1.2 million full-time employees. For 2016, the IT-BPM industry is eyeing to surpass the revenue figures earned in 2015 and targets $25 billion in revenue and 1.3 million direct employment opportunities.

IT-BPM, along with manufacturing, agribusiness, tourism, and infrastructure and logistics sectors were identified in the Comprehensive National Industrial Strategy (CNIS)—the country’s blueprint that details the overall industrial development strategy that links the manufacturing sector with agriculture and services sector, as the core industries which are expected to play key roles in realizing economic growth.

CeBIT, a German language acronym for Centrum für Büroautomation, Informationstechnologie und Telekommunikation, is a sought-after global trade fair and event to promote IT services.  The Hannover edition is one of the most prominent conventions and attracts the most number of visitors and exhibitors.  Over the years, CeBIT has become an important platform for ICT companies from different parts of the regions to explore partnerships and exchange expertise through exhibitions, global conferences, and networking events.  In 2016, the fair attracted 100,000 visitors with over 3,300 exhibitor companies from 70 countries.

Our competency in the electronics sector was also highlighted at CEBIT, which is a top contributor to the Philippine economy, accounting for 49.3% of the total Philippine exports (US$ 28.9 billion) in 2015. Today, the country is home to about 500 semiconductor and electronics companies wherein five of the top 20 leaders in global electronics sales are presently operating. These companies practice best known methods in manufacturing forIC packaging, Printed Circuit Board Assembly and Full Product Assembly.

The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI), the industry development and investments promotion arm of the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI), and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Berlin organized the Philippine industry players’ participation in CeBIT, represented by (9) companies/agencies, with 17 participants coming from the IT-BPM and electronics sector, real estate, industry association, and business chamber. This is in cooperation with the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) and Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Inc. (SEIPI).

“The Philippines had a country pavilion, showcasing our country branding and competencies in voice and non-voice BPM and electronics industry. Our pavilion also highlighted the support services already in place such as real estate, telecom infrastructure, and human resources to support IT-BPM-related business activities in the country,” said BOI Director for International Investments Promotion Service Angelica Cayas who headed the Philippine delegation at the CeBIT Fair.

Over 70 meetings / business queries were facilitated on site. The delegation generated interests in the form of outsourcing possibilities and potential inbound visits in PH, as well as collaboration work with European company leads and industry associations.

After CEBIT, the delegation proceeded to Berlin for the conduct of Business Forum, as well as to hold company meetings and networking receptions. Philippine Ambassador to Germany, Melita S. Sta. Maria Thomeczek, led in welcoming the Philippine delegation and participants.

In the Business Forum, presentations on the Philippine Investments Climate by Director Cayas and an Overview of ITBPM and Opportunities by Ms. Genny Inocencio- Marcial of IBPAP preceded the testimonials on doing business in the Philippines by German speakers, who used to head their respective Philippine operations.

The first speaker was Mr. Steffen Rittner, Operations Manager of Bosch Communication Center, followed by Mr. Detlev von Ramm, Director, Supplier Quality Management at Continental.  Both speakers delivered their message centered on the quality talent pool, hard-working Filipinos and good stature of BPM – related jobs in the Philippines. They also believe in the potential of multi-skilled Filipino talent, with very high level of education, world class English proficiency, and who are fast learners, to be a driving mechanism towards a stronger business climate.

The forum was followed by a Networking Luncheon, hosted by Amb. Thomeczek, for the promotion of global in-house centers / shared service centers in PH.  This was attended by the testimonial speakers during the forum, executives of the German Outsourcing Association and the Association of German Banks.

As a follow through on these promotional activities, Director Cayas said the BOI is in constant communication with the companies who signified interests in partnering with Philippine companies. She also said the agency is looking forward to the country’s participation in future CeBIT Fairs and related international promotion events.