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RP could be a global IT player, World Bank says

June 30, 2009 9:00pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines could be a major player in the industries of information technology and IT-enabled services, the World Bank said.

Currently, the country corners one percent of the global distribution of offshore IT services and 15 percent of ITES markets.

Although India is the global leader in both IT and ITES, countries such as “China, Mexico, and the Philippines are also emerging as potential players in this space," the World Bank said in a report entitled Information and Communications for Development 2009.

The Washington-based lender cited Philippine efforts to align skills with global standards, especially since local universities offer finance and accounting courses modeled after the US’ Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

This paves the way for the Philippines to be a "natural choice" for American bank and financial institutions seeking to offshore portions of their operations.

Moreover, nearly one-third of all new jobs created in the country by 2010 could come from the IT sector, the World Bank said, citing a report from the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP).

"In the Philippines, IT services and ITES employed 345,000 people as of mid-2008 and are projected to directly employ close to 1 million people by the end of 2010," the World Bank said. “Employment of this scale means that the sector would account for 27 percent of all new jobs created in the Philippines by 2010."

Women account for about 65 percent of the total professional and technical workers in IT services and ITES in the Philippines.

The explosion of the number of internet users in developing countries increased tenfold from 2000 to 2007, and the more than four billion mobile phone subscribers in developing countries offer tremendous opportunities.

It noted the importance of Information and Communication Technology in raising incomes of citizens of developing countries.

For every 10 percentage-point increase in high speed internet connections, there is an increase in economic growth of 1.3 percentage points, the report said.

It also identified the mobile platform as the single most powerful way to reach and deliver public and private services to hundreds of millions of people in remote and rural areas across the developing world.

"Governments can work with the private sector to accelerate rollout of broadband networks, and to extend access to low-income consumers," the bank added. - GMANews.TV