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Penang a new emerging “IT-BPO destination”

Posted on: May 5, 2009

Bernama – Friday, May 1

KUALA LUMPUR, April 30 (Bernama) — Penang has been named as one of the new emerging information technology-business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) destinations that would allow companies to provide diversity to their global operations and reduce their costs of doing business, according to KPMG’s Exploring Global Frontiers report.

In a statement here today, executive director and head of KPMG’s Business Performance Services, Woon Tai Hai, said Penang has all the strengths to become a major outsourcing hub.

“The state has a highly-skilled employee pool, state-of-the-art telecommunications services, a well-managed skills development centre, and the presence of outstanding tertiary and training institutions.

“Moreover, the state is designated a MSC Malaysia Cybercity, with all the perks attributed to it,” he said.

He said the island was rated the 10th best place to live in Asia by ECA International in 2006 and boasted key IT-BPO companies such as Intel, IBM, Motorola and Citicorp as its stalwarts.

Woon said in 2007, the IT-BPO exports from the island were estimated at a whopping US$564 million (US$1=RM3.53).

He said Penang also offered lower cost and access to a high growth potential market.

“Coupled with direct air links with major Asian cities such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, Osaka, Singapore, Taipei, Bangkok and via Kuala Lumpur to all the major cities of the world, Penang is increasingly accessible to all the major markets in Asia-Pacific, particularly China and India,” Woon said.

Woon said Penang also produced graduates of outstanding qualities especially in engineering, technical and IT skills to meet the needs of the industry.

“For instance, the Penang Skills Development Centre produced over 100,000 trainees since its establishment in 1998,” he said.

KPMG’s report also found that though the potential to scale was limited, Penang’s talent pool was suited to offer higher-end, relatively less scale-dependent IT-BPO services, especially in areas such as financial services, logistics, energy and pharmaceuticals.

“This can be Penang’s niche,” Woon said.

He said if Penangites could position themselves as uniquely skilled in certain specialised areas like in the outsourcing of Islamic banking services, it could better promote itself as a premier outsourcing location that would attract more major corporations.

“Such recognition for Penang to be chosen as an emerging IT-BPO location is a strong endorsement of the Malaysian brand as a whole,” he said. — BERNAMA



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