UK to intensify outsource services in Asean

SATURDAY, 21 JANUARY 2012 19:42 ESTRELLA TORRES / REPORTER

LONDON—Amid the worsening euro-zone crisis, a trade official here said British private investments in the Philippines and Southeast Asian countries would continue to increase, particularly in the outsourcing sectors on finance and legal services as cash-rich companies remain on a “wait and see” mode on European economies.

An official of the UK Trade and Investment said Britain seeks to intensify its outsourcing services now that the euro-zone crisis is crippling half of Europe’s economies.

“UK companies now tend to diversify investments abroad and there is a bigger shift toward Southeast Asia,” an official of UKTI told visiting journalists here.

The trade official also said it is “extremely unlikely to happen” that Britain will restrict its private businesses to outsource services similar to the US pending bill to ban American companies to outsource services to generate domestic jobs.

“There is no suggestion that we would go down that route [US restriction on outsourcing],” said the trade official, stressing that “free marketers in the UK is a good thing.”

At the same time, the trade official assured that there will be no job losses for Filipino nurses in the UK even as the domestic economy is highly exposed to the euro-zone crisis.

“The Philippines is covered by strict visa regime but since there is still high shortage of nurses here so UK will continue to hire nurses from the Philippines,” said the trade official.

An estimated 100,000 Filipino nurses are currently deployed in Britain.

She said Britain is strengthening shift to knowledge-intensive sector which is benefiting a lot from outsourcing services.

The Philippines, as a second top source of outsourcing services, with 600,000 Filipinos employed in business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, is worried over possible job losses as US president Obama is backing a legislative measure to restrict American companies to outsource services.

The trade official said the Philippines is among the top 19 countries in Asia for British investments and likely to get a huge share of interests particularly in outsourcing.

Britain tops foreign direct investments in the Philippines particularly in retails shops, insurances and BPO companies.



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