Demand on some PH exports rising, BPOs eye expansion despite Covid-19


Demand for some local products in overseas markets barely affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is increasing, while some business process outsourcing (BPO) firms are gearing up for expansion even as most businesses are reeling from the economic impact of the coronavirus, according to a Mindanao-based businessman. 


"Here in Mindanao, the agribusiness is still fortunate because demand for bananas for example from China, is actually going up. So we are actually seeing an increase in exports to countries who are less affected (by Covid-19) over the next six months," said Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. President John Carlo Tria in a webinar.


Tria, who has also business interests in Visayas, said they likewise see a lot of BPO companies maybe expanding their operations after one month. 


"Because many foreign companies, we were told, are looking at offsourcing or outsourcing even critical operations so the challenge there is to innovate, as well to meet the increasing needs of these companies," he said. 


However, Tria said some sectors are incurring problems brought about by Covid-19 spread while others continue operating.


To fortify the sectors that are continuing their operations, he underscored the importance of securing financing for these companies. 


"We are not seeing a rebound in two months, we are probably going to see it in 2021. That's already our honest assessment. Between now and 2021, I think financing would be needed," he added. 


The Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) has been extended until April 30 from the original April 12 to contain Covid-19 spread. Local government units in the Visayas and Mindanao have also implemented ECQs.


Tria said many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) particularly those in the service sector are not confident of starting an operation after the ECQ is lifted. 


"Maybe not right away, they might wait maybe a few more weeks before they open. The reason being as many are concerned, especially the service sector like hotels and restaurants, will they be seeing enough customers? Because if the demand is not going to be as high, they might as well stay close so that's one of the concerns that they raised with us," he added.

 -- Philexport News and Features