GBS WORLD NEWS | WEEK 4 | OCTOBER 2023
The capital city of Georgia, Tbilisi, drew much attention this week as the location hosted top global analysts and outsourcing executives for the BPO Leadership Summit. Notable delegates included Peter Ryan, Amal Hassan, Kirk Laughlin, Marianne Rutz, Mauricio Velasquez, Michael Zdanowski, Sanjay Mehta, Sean Duncombe, and Simon Kriss, to name a few. They were hosted by Davit Tavlalashvili, Keti Kanashvili and the Invest In Georgia team. Levan Davitashvili, Vice Prime Minister & Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia welcomed the guests and engaged in important discussions about the tech landscape and investment climate in the country.
Meanwhile, two Columbian-based organizations that promote investment opportunities in the region, Invest Pacific and ProColombia, travelled to California to target investors in the tech and services sectors. Attending numerous meetings and participating in the TechCrunch Disrupt and AI B2C Investors & Networking events, representatives aimed to generate more interest in the country’s outsourced-services offerings and reinforce ties with the United States – the largest investor in Colombia.
In the southern-hemisphere region, Cape Town, South Africa also recently sought to promote its offerings and reinforce ties with overseas investors. James Vos, a mayoral committee member for economic opportunities, traveled to London to engage with UK investors in a meeting organized by Wesgro, the Western Cape’s investment promotion agency. There are an estimated 70,000 BPO-sector employees in Cape Town, and 57% of South Africa’s local BPO workforce delivers services to UK clients.
Over in the Philippines, Concentrix + Webhelp – the global customer journey and outsourcing company – has opened another site in Cebu. The new site is reportedly the company’s largest-staffed site in the country, and is preparing for a surge in employee demand expected in the coming years. Currently, Concentrix employs over 100,000 full-time employees – over 13,000 of them working in Cebu – the expansion is expected to create even more job opportunities and further boost the country’s economic development.
Also in the Philippines, the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) has noted that they are concerned about the impact of recent cyberattacks on the country’s reputation as a reliable outsourcing investment destination. The IBPAP is encouraging organizations to further bolster their cyber-security strategies and maintain a “heightened state of alertness.”
Still in the APAC region, the Sri Lankan labor law prohibiting women from working night shifts is set to change. After an approval on a draft amendment from the Attorney General, the amendment is set to be presented to parliament. This shift will enable huge advancements for the ICT and BPO sectors, where women will now be able to support the success of outsourcing firms in the region.
Over in the US, Apple is expected to invest a whopping US$1 billion per year on developing its generative AI products. The tech giant is looking to utilize AI development to enhance its products in an effort to catch-up with some of its major competitors who have already debuted advanced generative AI products. So far, Apple is only using AI as a tool for improving photos and text, but has not launched a product along the line of ChatGPT. The company hopes this investment will fast-track its AI developments, enabling it to develop new products as well as improve Apple Music, Messages, and Siri.