by Beth Bacheldor

Vietnam and Egypt Want Your Offshore Dollars

Mar 24, 2010
Enterprise Applications

The two countries' outsourcing sectors are growing, and the countries are hoping for more.

There’s no question that most people know most of the offshored work ends up in India. But, two other countries are stepping up.

First off, FPT Corp., a telecommunications and software company based in Vietnam, says it expects net income to gain 20 percent this year, thanks to increasing demand for outsourcing and systems integration. In an interview with Bloomberg (to see the whole story, go here), the company’s CFO and vice general director Phan Duc Trung said the company expects its roster of clients in software outsourcing to go up, and expects greater demand from Japanese and U.S. companies. It already boasts such clients as Microsoft Corp., Panasonic Corp. and Hitachi Ltd.

Vietnam is no stranger to outsourcing—the article cites an A.T. Kearney report that puts Vietnam in 10th place globally for outsourcing as measured by financial attractiveness, labor availability and costs, and confidence in the business environment.

Meanwhile, Egypt aims to become a bigger player in the outsourcing market. According to a Reuters story published earlier this week, Egypt has established strong incentives for incoming firms. While well behind India and another strong overseas outsourcing market—the Philippines—Egypt’s outsourcing industry is one of its fastest growing sectors, and according to the article, there’s a wealth of university graduates fluent in French, German, Spanish and Italian as well as Arabic and English.

Thanks to government incentives (such as covering much of the cost for training, paying some of the rent and transportation costs, and matching the difference between Egypt’s telecommunications costs and the lowest such costs elsewhere in the world), Egypt expects its foreign outsourcing industry to generate $1.1 billion this year, $2 billion in revenue by 2013 and $10 billion in 10 years, according to the country’s communications minister Tarek Kamel, who was quoted in the article.

In addition to the incentives (which increase if an incoming company hires 3,000 or more Egyptians), the communications ministry and ITIDA (Information Technology Industry Development Agency) are working together to build and expand technology parks for the offshoring industry. One such center just recently opened, and is being used by Wellesley, Mass.-based Stream Global Services, a BPO that operates call and support centers for such customers as satellite ration station Syrius-XM. According to the article, Stream’s chairman and chief executive, Scott Murray, said his firm intends to expand further in Egypt and Brazil and to enter China, where it will employ 2,000 people.

Stream, which operates in 22 countries, started in Egypt last year with 50 employees and expects up to have 5,000 employees in Cairo and other Egyptian cities in the next two to three years.

While the United States wrangles over whether offshoring is good or bad for its own business, the rest of the world is angling for U.S. business. They aren’t waiting, and show no signs of stopping.