Did you know that Britain outsources its diplomatic services to Manila?
Did you know that the British government outsources its diplomatic services to its embassy in Manila?
The British Embassy in Manila has turned into a business process outsourcing (BPO) hub for the UK government through the Shared Service Centre. The centre, located in Taguig City, takes care of workload that Britain’s foreign office in the UK cannot handle. The centre currently serves 40 countries in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, South and Central Asia.
The centre is the first of its kind in the world. Ambassador Asif Ahmad emphasised the importance of the Shared Service Centre in the global level: ‘So we will divide the world into two, UK will do western Europe, northern and south America and the rest of Africa, and [the Shared Service Centre] will do the rest of the world here.’
At present, the centre handles payment, recruitment and salary transactions from all British Embassies in the Asia Pacific region. Financial processing from the embassy in India will also be moved to Manila this year, affirming the Philippines’ reputation as the top BPO centre in the world.
Manila was chosen as the UK government’s foreign services centre because of competitive labour rates and skilled workforce. It beat other choices like Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. In addition, Manila was chosen because the UK is determined to improve its relations with the Philippines.
According to Ambassador Ahmad, he has been ordered by the British foreign minister to increase bilateral trade between UK and Philippines from 1 billion pounds to 5 billion pounds or Php373b before his term ends.
Shell Philippines is at present the biggest British investment in the Philippines. The ambassador said that the re-opening of PAL flights to London and the entrance of British fashion retail into the country could further boost trade between Britain and the Philippines.
He added that infrastructure projects focusing on sea and airports could further boost foreign investments in the country.