MANILA, Philippines – Globe Telecom President & CEO Ernest Cu said the Philippine telecommunications provider is exploring the possibility of expanding its operations within the ASEAN region to complement relatively strong economic growth within the region.
“We will look for white space within Asean and Asia on where to leverage the skills we’ve developed overtime and we do think we’ve developed a decent telco business here in the Philippines. We have a great team and we’re thinking of ways to leverage that further in emerging economies,” Cu said in a video shown at the recent APEC CEO Summit in Beijing, China. The APEC CEO Summit is a premier business event, attended by thousands of economic and business leaders from around the region.
Cu specifically cited Myanmar as a potential expansion area. “There’s already a telco player in Myanmar but there are other areas we could get involved in, like financial services and mobile advertising and these areas have potential,” he said.
As a telco provider, Globe has taken the direction of providing products and services most relevant to customers amid fast-paced evolution of digital technologies. “We’ve always taken the position that if consumer habits are changing, then we have to change along with it and deliver what’s relevant to them. The real prize would be getting all of these individuals to access the internet through their mobile phones and alternatives offered by different mobile apps become more commonplace and become the main mode of communication,” said Cu.
Cu earlier said Globe is considering the possibility of offering its mobile-based banking service to other Southeast Asian markets once the ASEAN integration is in place. Globe operates GCash, the mobile money service of its subsidiary G-Xchange Inc. It also operates BanKO, a mobile-based, microfinance-focused savings bank, along with Bank of the Philippine Islands and Ayala Corp.
By 2015, the ASEAN Economic Community sets in motion the creation of single market and production base for the 10-nation bloc fostering free flow of goods, services, skilled labor, investments and capital. ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Cu’s vision of expanding Globe Telecom’s operations in the Asean region mirrors goals expressed by other CEOs surveyed by PwC International Survey Unit. The APEC CEO Survey was conducted between June and August 2014 covering 635 CEOs and industry leaders across 39 countries with operations in APEC economies.
Based on the survey, 57% of the CEO respondents said they are either building or expanding facilities in APEC economies in the next 3 to 5 years. The survey found that 67% of executives plan to increase investment in the APEC region over the next 12 months. Their plans are spread over each of the 21 APEC member economies with China, the US, Indonesia, Hong Kong-China and Singapore as the most popular destinations for investment.
The Philippines will be hosting the APEC Summit next year. An intergovernmental grouping currently composed of 21 member economies, APEC focuses on three key areas namely trade and investment liberalization, business facilitation and economic and technical cooperation.