Donald Trump and the Future of Offshoring in the Philippines

The result of the recently concluded US presidential election is still being felt, even weeks after Donald Trump was declared the winner. Trump’s unexpected win took the world by surprise with people having plenty of mixed emotions about what his presidency would mean not just for the United States but the global implications as well.

The concerns certainly aren’t unfounded either. Despite not taking office yet as of this writing, president-elect Trump’s policies, appointments and opinions already has heads turning, with many questioning their long-term effect on the next four years on both offshoring and outsourcing.

Though a currently touchy issue for most businesses in the Philippines, looking at the bigger picture of what could happen in the next four years will not only bring up to speed what’s been happening but also what effect it has and how it may be felt by other countries.

An Affected Industry

It’s almost no secret that Donald Trump’s platform was based on strengthening domestic policies and employment for millions of Americans. Over the course of his campaign, Trump espoused that he would “Make America great again” and one of those promises included keeping jobs within the country instead of being outsourced to countries like China. Keeping and returning jobs to America has been such a major part of his campaign that it was one of the main issues he focused on during his formal announcement to run for the presidency last year.

So it’s a policy that puts more focus on America. Why do Australian and Philippine businesses need to be concerned? While true, to an extent, Australian businesses would not be majorly affected by this policy, the Philippines and the Filipino people may feel the brunt of it and experience a major setback economically and professionally. We’ve established previously that the BPO industry is a significant contributor to the Philippines’ GDP and Trump’s remarks no doubt have plenty of businesses in the Philippines concerned about their futures and what a Trump presidency will mean for them. Business leaders in the Philippines have also acknowledged that a “weakened” BPO industry could be looming with lesser investments coming from the United States.

Promises Versus Implementation

Meanwhile, the Philippine government has also done their part into assuring local workers who may be affected by the “Trump Effect” that it is still too early to jump to any conclusions. In a statement, Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said that the Philippines is in a “wait and see” mode to what Trump may actually do.

Indeed, most experts in the country see Trump’s promises as mostly campaign rhetoric that may have been highlighted in order to entice undecided voters to his side. They are also quick to point out that Donald Trump is always going to have a mind for business, and that the businessman side of him will always look for new investment opportunities, especially with foreign countries. Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) secretary Silvestre Bello has stressed that investments do not look to the Philippines to be involved in politics. “For them, as long as the climate is there for the conduct of their business, they will stay.”

Looking ahead to 2017

The Trump presidency no doubt has plenty of Philippine businesses spooked, especially those with close ties to American companies. However, by being cautiously optimistic to what could transpire in the next few months, it also shows how resilient they are and are already taking steps to prepare for whatever comes next. While acknowledging the potential setbacks that could happen, the Philippines also knows that other investments from other countries in the BPO industry may help them out in the longer run. 2017 looks to be a particularly exciting year and taking advantage of upcoming trends may also prepare them further. The offshoring and outsourcing industry will continue to be a big part of the country and it’s time for more Australian businesses to recognise the talent and skill that a Filipino staff can do for their company.

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