MANILA, Philippines -- India and China have bigger economies but the Philippines has a higher "educational density" and thus in a better position to move ahead in offshore outsourcing, according to an economics professor from Europe.
Professor Guido Dedene, a faculty member of Belgium's Catholic University of Leuven and Netherlands' University of Amsterdam, believes the country's "unique" characteristics make it a more viable outsourcing destination for either United States or Europe.
Dedene cited a recent McKinsey study that predicts that by 2011, the US and United Kingdom alone will be capable of "consuming" the outsourcing capacities of India, China and the Philippines.
"Majority of companies in Europe, for example, go to either India or China because they simply don't know much about the Philippines," Dedene said in an interview with INQUIRER.net.
Dedene is in Manila for next week's SSME (Service Science Management and Engineering) conference organized by IBM and the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT).
IBM defines SSME as a multi-disciplinary academic and research approach that integrates more established areas like computer science, operations research, engineering, business and management.
In the context of BPO, the goal is to group together stakeholders such as business and government with the research and academic community.
"The Philippines has six times more educated people than India per capita," Dedene said, citing data from the McKinsey study. "In India, outsourcing is present in a few cities. In the Philippines, the entire country can be tapped for BPO (business process outsourcing)."
Dedene likewise cited the Filipinos' strong English proficiency and service-oriented nature, often mentioned by BPO investors doing business in the country.
"But beyond a good English accent, a key advantage is the fact that the Philippines is a young nation. If we start educating Filipinos now, it will pay off profitably in the future," he said.