The Asia-Pacific region dominates the business process outsourcing (BPO) landscape, led by the Philippines and India, according to data from greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets. According to the figures, about 39% of jobs created through crossborder greenfield investment in the BPO sector between January 2014 and December 2018 were generated in Asia-Pacific markets. In recognition of this dominance, Asia-Pacific has been named fDi’s top region for greenfield FDI in BPO.
The Philippines and India, rank first and fourth respectively, in the country list, and dominate the top 10 locations at city level. The Philippines, having experienced phases of considerable growth in the sector over the past decade, has four cities in the top 10. Taguig, a highly urbanised city in the Manila area, takes the top spot thanks to the likes of India-based Intelenet Global Services, which opened a facility in the city creating about 4000 jobs. Second-ranked Hyderabad is home to the highest number of companies in the region and Clark comes in third after having recorded seven projects, three of which were carried out in the Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, Kingston ranks as the top city for FDI attraction for BPO in the region and fourth globally.
Despite the strong showings exhibited by each of these locations, the BPO sector is in the midst of a year-on-year global decline in FDI project numbers and job creation. In 2018, the sector experienced a 25% and 2% fall in project numbers and job creation, respectively. In the same year, capital investment rose by 32%, albeit after a decline of 61% in 2017.
To compile the list of locations for this study, fDi Intelligence, a data division of the Financial Times, looked at the FDI data between January 2014 and December 2018 on fDi Markets. Locations were ranked on their record of investment taking into account project numbers in the BPO sector, as well as capital investment and job creation.