Asean Prime Business Destination - Accenture
Increasing urbanization in the next half decade makes the Philippines and the rest of the ASEAN region more attractive to multinational firms, if only they can build a strong business case and the right entry plan.
This was the premise made by executives of Accenture, the global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing firm with the largest footprint in the country, operating 12 facilities in Metro Manila and 2 in Cebu.
Definitely, Accenture expects ASEAN to emerge as a prime business destination for multinational companies in the next three to five years.
The region - which includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Burma, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam - is currently incubating a group of innovative companies that will compete against them in Asian markets and beyond.
The Philippines, for its part, has become a preferred global business process outsourcing destination.
Vietnam is actively nurturing a high-tech presence, investing in Quang Trung Software City, which employs nearly 24,000 people at more than 100 companies.
Singapore is a free trade model. Its transparent business rules and regulations, strong intellectual property protection and ideal shipping location helped make it the world's easiest place to do business once again in 2011.
Malaysia has established the Iskandar development corridor on the southern part of its Western Peninsula, attracting investors via incentives that include tax breaks and import and sales duty enticements.
Overall, the region's recent economic performance shows makes it an attractive place to do business. Furthermore, ASEAN provides access to consumer markets that are predominantly young, dynamic and increasingly affluent.
By 2020, the region's under-30 population will account for nearly half of the total population. Southeast Asia's expected 81 million city dwellers in 2020 alone, will exceed the combined populations of Boston, London, Madrid, New York and Tokyo for that same year.
These markets already have an outsized appetite for new technology and social media. As purchasing power grows, consumer demand for education opportunities, household goods and services, and communications and dining options will increase.
Bypassing outmoded fixed-line infrastructure, mobile technology has become the preferred source of connectivity. …