BPOs to benefit from Philippines-EU Free Trade Agreement

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The free trade agreement (FTA) between the European Union (EU) and the Philippines has the potential to generate more business associated with business process outsourcing (BPO), according to a report published on behalf of the EU. This is the interim finding of the Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) in support of FTA negotiations between the two parties commissioned by the EU from European consultancy Development Solutions. The report also notes growth in the BPO sector arising from the EU – Philippines FTA may engender a number of social outcomes that warrant further consideration. In particular, the report says that the industry needs to overcome a number of challenges in respect of providing decent working conditions, citing research from the International Labor Organization that finds that workers in the Philippines’ BPO industry can be subject to high-stress work environments that produce a detrimental impact on their health. Negotiations for an EU – Philippines FTA were launched on Dec. 22, 2015. The second round of talks was held in Cebu City in February 2017.

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