Outsourcing Philippines to Drive 5.5% Growth Until 2020

The Philippine economy has the capacity to grow at a 5.5 percent clip within the next five years due to strong performance of Outsourcing Philippines, the country’s information technology and business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) sector, according to market intelligence firm IHS. IHS is similarly optimistic about the country’s per person gross domestic product (GDP), which is expected to rise from $3,000 to $6,000 by 2024. 

“The competitiveness of the Philippines in this industry has been particularly helped by the large pool of university-educated workers as well as the strong English-language skills of the workforce,” said IHS chief economist for Asia-Pacific Rajiv Biswas.

From 2008 to 2014, export revenues from the Philippine BPO sector more than doubled to $18 billion, and the number of offshore outsourcing workers has already breached one million. Biswas added that the rapid growth of the Philippine BPO sector is driving country-wide economic development as cities outside Metro Manila become IT-BPO centers.

The projected GDP increase is set to make the country one of the largest consumer markets in Southeast Asia. It would also attract more foreign investment in the services and manufacturing sectors.

“The rapid growth of the IT-BPO industry is also creating positive transmission effects for the rest of the economy, including for the commercial property sector, with rapid growth in demand for commercial floor space, underpinning the development of existing and new office parks in urban centers,” Biswas said.

The steady inflow of remittances from Filipinos abroad, which hit a record-high $26.9 billion in 2014, also helps boost economic prospects. Biswas estimated that 35 percent of the annual remittances are accounted for by residential property purchases, further supporting the growth of residential construction. 

The Philippine government expects the economy to grow by 7-8 percent in 2015 and 2016.