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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        7  February 2011

Malaysia remains a top offshoring destination

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Malaysia continues to occupy the third leading position, after India and China, in the list of the world's leading offshoring destinations, according to global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney's latest Global Services Location Index (GSLI).

Malaysia also remains a force to reckon with among Asean member countries which are fiercely competing for a slice of the global offshoring pie.

While Indonesia continues to rank at number five, Thailand has slipped down from the fourth to seventh ranking and the Philippines from the seventh to ninth ranking.

The descent of the Philippines seems to be quite remarkable because it was touting itself as "the world's ideal offshoring destination" and even perceived at one time to steal the thunder from India.

The dark horse within the Asean group, however, is Vietnam, which is inching its way up and is currently eighth ranking up from number 10.

Asia dominates the top ten positions in GSLI.

There are also significant changes taking place in the global business climate. Factors such as wage changes and currency flux are expected to cause major changes in the rankings.

While a sluggish recovery continues to create the kind of pressure for economies that are crucial for the outsourcing business, an increasingly complex global economic environment has led to major changes in the ranking of the most attractive offshoring destinations, according to A.T. Kearney's GSLI.

India continues to rule the roost. A combination of human resources and low costs have, once again, placed India, China and Malaysia in the top three spots -- positions they have held since GSLI's inauguration in 2003.

At the same time, however, currency movement has helped strengthen the competitive position of states whose costs had formerly kept them far down on the list, including the Baltic States, the United Kingdom (UK), Mexico and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

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04 January 2011
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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

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