It has been said for ages that the best way to predict the future is to create it. But in order to create it, one must start with a vision. Entrepreneurs built their businesses based on their vision of the future. Individuals pursue their careers with passion because of a vision, or for some, they call it a dream. And it was on the same philosophy that the Clark Freeport Zone was developed.
On Matters of Economy
The Philippines is one emerging economy in South East Asia that has sustained steady growth for the past 5 years. One contributing factor to this growth is the active effort of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) community to foster mutual economic and trade growth among its member countries by envisioning the region as a single market where there is a freer movement of capital investments, goods and services.
Photo by Vernon Raineil Cenzon: Bonifacio Global City, Manila
Domestically, the government has been making concrete actions that will create a long-term impact on the Philippine economy. The ministry of Education was mandated to implement the K to 12 system which covers 12 years of basic education in order to bring a higher level of education more accessible to the general public. The creation of Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) was signed in 2016 to serve as the administrative entity of the executive branch of government that will plan, develop and promote the national ICT development agenda. Further, the government has focused its direction on increasing its spending on infrastructure program and signing laws that will create a business-friendly environment for local entrepreneurs and foreign investors such as the Ease in Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Act of 2018.
The way to becoming a fully developed nation is still a long way for the Philippines. Together with these developments are also growth pains and learnings that the country must consider in moving forward. As such, the nation’s direction for the future is to bring economic activity north and central of Luzon, its main and biggest island. This is in purpose of distributing equal growth across the country and decongest the densely populated Philippine capital of Manila. Hence, Clark Freeport Zone became the most logical choice as it is just an hour drive north of the main capital region, apart from its ready-built amenities such as an International Airport.
Clark Freeport Zone
The vital task of developing Central and North Luzon as the future of Philippine economy is a joint responsibility of different government agencies. This includes the local government, national agencies, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and Clark Development Corporation (CDC). Their objective is to duplicate the success of Bonifacio Global City, a world-class and modern business district located in Manila, to bring more foreign investments and drive economic growth and employment opportunities in the entire Philippines.
Clark is far from being just the former military base of America. It has a total land area of 31,000 hectares which brings promise of great opportunities. Its’ potential for good investment came from its inherent nature and good development foundation. 4,400 hectares of Clark has already been developed and still in progress of development. It houses both the Clark Freeport Zone and the Clark International Airport. One great advantage of Clark from other economic zones across the world is the 2,500 –hectare aviation complex which the government is currently developing into a premier gateway.
FRIENDLY AND VIBRANT BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
One important factor in sustaining the progress of the freeport zone is the existence of Clark Development Corporation who facilitates the entry and conduct of business of locators/investors inside the economic hub. The CDC made sure that they created a business-friendly environment for their local and global investors by ensuring the presence of different industries inside the zone which mimics an ecosystem of business benefits, such as telecommunication facilities, power & water supply, hotel and service industry, food and retail, medical facilities, recreation and education. Likewise, most industries inside Clark enjoy the advantage of tax benefits/incentives and VAT exemptions.
From being a premier business hub, Clark has evolved to be more than a business district. Facilities for recreation and tourism have also gained momentum for the past years. National events for drag racing, triathlon, cycling, fireworks competition and air balloon festival added vibrance to the identity of Clark. And this transformative characteristic of Clark makes it even more exciting to invest.
Future in Outsourcing
It’s all about strategy. To make a mark in the future, entrepreneurs and business owners must position themselves today. It is vital to any business to make the right decision on where to make an investment because its’ future success is hinged on this decision. A moving business economy, mutual strategy and culture-fit from business partners are important factors of investing.
One global move on investing is outsourcing. From being a cost-saving strategy, business process outsourcing (or BPO) has evolved as a value-adding and competitive strategy for Western companies and recently by Australian businesses as well. This change can also be observed within the Clark Freeport Zone. BPO companies have adapted to the demand for quality by businesses and shifted their framework to specialize on specific service solutions. Through this focused approach on outsourcing, BPOs were able to deliver results with a higher standard.
Contributing to the improved quality of service by outsourcing companies in Clark is the calibre of human resources in the region. Pampanga has been identified by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as one of the top 10 provinces in the Philippines with the highest Human Development Index. Further, the CDC reported in 2016 an increase in number of locators/investors within Clark Freeport Zone, from 449 in 2009 to 895 locators in 2016, thus creating 93,467 experienced and skilled workforce.
As the domestic industry become acquainted to the international standard of service and familiarize with the culture of Western and Australian companies, the hiring and training process of BPO companies are being modified to meet the specific requirements of investing companies. Because of the new direction in outsourcing, BPOs in Clark were able to identify the field of service in which their company excels.
The top 5 outsourcing services in Clark are:
- Customer/Contact Service
- Accounting and Finance
- Web Development and Design
- Digital Marketing
- Tech Services
The important learning from the case of Clark Freeport Zone and the BPO companies within its business area is that consistent effort delivers the vision. The future is a result of a continuous and in-tuned set of actions done today. To the business entrepreneurs who are exploring their vision of the future, take the wisdom of Rupert Murdoch.
“The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat the small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow”.