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Industry Research : Five Solid Locations for BPO and Managed Service FDI in 2013
As 2013 dawns, and the wheels of business and investment begin to turn at full speed, companies will be looking in earnest at high-value locations to plant foreign direct investment roots. One growing sector, which touches many different industries, as varied as IT or financial services and call-centre customer care to more hands-off SaaS, cloud-computing and server-farm solutions, is the business services industry.
Many very different business functions fall under this umbrella, making it difficult to give the sector a proper name that encompasses everything that the sector actually offers. That said, it is safe to include business process outsourcing, customer service, ICT services, tech services, managed services and subsectors within these broad fields.
Odds-On BPO and Managed Services Favourites: Five Winning Investment Locations 2013
Forward-looking business investment locations have all placed considerable effort into promoting themselves as ideal places to set up and relocate BPO and managed services companies. Most countries and cities have put strategies and tactics in motion to attract companies from across the spectrum of the managed services sector.
Some locations, though, stand out as offering a potential return-on-investment beyond the basics as well as greater value for money.
Iceland offers a tech-savvy, highly educated population in an advanced society - offering exceptional advantages to potential investors. Whether seeking human capital and knowledge in ICT and software development outsourcing or the power of machines in cloud computing and server farms, Iceland has everything. Technical skills, institutional and corporate support, an advanced infrastructure and affordable, abundant, renewable energy for power-intensive operations - it is all available here.
Thanks to a highly skilled, multilingual workforce coupled with low labour costs, favourable taxation schemes and regulatory environment, Malta enjoys a positive reputation as an ICT and offshoring hub. Although it has already been discovered as a notable nearshore offshoring powerhouse, Malta's benefits remain intact and compelling for potential investors. Malta is a part of the EU and is fully aligned with EU law but has weathered the economic storm that has hit the rest of the eurozone and maintained a high standard of living that is available at lower costs (both to businesses seeking to invest and to residents) than in other European Unioncountries.
With the global economic crisis hitting Spain particularly hard, the time to invest in Spain has never been better. A depth of IT and finance talent is available in unprecedented numbers, and the costs of doing business are lower because Spain is highly motivated to attract new business to inject the economy with welcome new blood. Spain also has extensive ties with South America, which is booming in a variety of sectors and industries and can offer numerous connections for potential investors in the entire Spanish-speaking world. Spain has a depth of expertise in finance that is unparalleled in Europe, particularly for the costs of doing business in the Spain of the future.
Ireland has long enjoyed a reputation as the go-to outsourcing and IT location in Europe. While the economic downturn has hit Ireland hard, and many of the IT workers who flocked to Ireland during its boom times have departed, Ireland remains a solid, if unexpected, given the circumstances, choice for IT outsourcing and BPO solutions. Ireland's IT reputation is well-deserved, and it has the infrastructure, training, facilities - and bright, available, uniquely skilled workforce required - available now more than ever.
Assuming that the political climate shows sustained stability, Egypt is an emerging star in both ICT services and outsourcing. Having one of the more diverse economies in the entire MENA region, and being the most populous country in Africa and the Middle East, Egypt has a well-educated, multilingual and skilled pool of labour eager for work. Likewise, while Cairo is highly praised for its strengths, Egypt has worked to develop its IT infrastructure and commercial real estate in locations outside the capital. A prime example is the Polaris Parks project in 6th of October City, one of Egypt's flagship "future cities". Polaris is home to Egypt's Smart Village technology park, one of Egypt's clear pushes toward attracting future large-scale investment in the BPO and managed services sector.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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