Flat local 2020 IT-BPM growth anticipated

Business, News

Amidst the obtaining Covid-19 pandemic, the growth of the local information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) industry is expected to be flat this year.

During the closing ceremony of the 12th International Innovation Summit on Thursday evening, the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) bared its recalibrated forecast for the industry.

The group said revenue outlook for the IT-BPM industry at end-2020 is at US$26 billion, while full-time employment will remain at 1.3 million. Last year, the sector closed the year with a revenue of US$26.3 billion, 7.1% higher than in 2018, while employment grew by 5.8% to 1.3 million from the 2018 level.

IBPAP president Rey Untal, in an online press briefing last Friday, said the industry is still outperforming the global economy, which is expected to contract by 3% to  4% this year.

Recovery is expected next year, however, and by 2022, the local IT-BPM sector is projected to grow between 3.2% and 5.5% in revenues and between 2.7% and 5% percent in employment.

Untal said “at this point, we are operating at pre-Covid levels, and developments are happening, and new growth is starting.”

To support the industry outlook, he said stakeholders should focus on digital upskilling “at speed” and “at scale” of their workforce, adding that the growth of the local industry would also be enabled by accelerated digital transformation, a robust ecosystem, a skilled workforce, and government support.

The future growth of the industry will also depend on the availability of the Covid-19 vaccines, as well as the outcome of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) bill, he said.

Citing recent reports on the Covid-19 vaccines being developed by Pfizer and Moderna, he said these new developments send positive news to the global market and have been well received by the global IT-BPM industry.

On the CREATE bill, Untal said they are looking forward to an “investor-friendly” law. “If you look at CREATE specifically, it should be investment-friendly. And this means the ability to entice not just new investments, but keep the existing investors,” he concluded.

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