Egypt has recently been featured in a report by The Association of Business Service Leaders, ABSL, a leading international non-profit organization that connects global and local companies that set up their global service centers in Central and Eastern European countries.
The report, co-authored by Deloitte, JLL, and Randstad, profiles 18 carefully selected countries and covers the whole spectrum of business services location options in the EMEA region.
The report, titled EMEA’s Business Services Landscape, brings into focus a number of factors that strengthened Egypt’s position as a world-class destination for business services such as its very large, well-educated workforce, and the highly-competitive operating costs it offers.
The report highlights the availability of talent in Egypt as an edge allowing it to set itself apart from other nearshore destinations by offering companies the possibility to implement service centers on a large scale.
“I’m thrilled that Egypt is the only non-European country to be listed in the report, Hala El-Gohary; CEO of The Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), said.
The business services sector has recorded strong and consistent growth with high employment rates at a total of 174K people employed. “We have a solid plan in place that guarantees the next wave of growth targeting to reach 225k as total employment by 2022,” commented ITIDA’s CEO.
Egypt has established itself as a prime location for business and IT services for global operations serving 100 countries. The government pro-actively supports the sector, ranging from investments in talent and infrastructure to incentives and support to foreign investors.
The market in Egypt is experiencing a shift in its services portfolios, the report confirmed. The report throws light on the companies’ move from multilingual contact centers to high-value niche services such as product development and R&D.
“We are constantly observing the shared services sector in the EMEA region and are astonished at the pace at which some locations are developing. More and more centers where new investments are being opened increase year by year - this is Egypt in particular”, said ABSL Strategy & Business Development Director, Paweł Panczyj. With more than 100 centers, Cairo is the main location for the industry, but increasingly companies are also locating in Alexandria.”
“Egypt’s key strengths are its very large and educated workforce, which allows the country to set itself apart from other nearshore destinations by offering companies the possibility to implement service centers on a large scale. Access to qualified staff is a key factor in choosing an investment in our sector,” he added.
The report is perceived by its authors as a practical location handbook that gives a fair overview of the leading metrics considered important in the location evaluation process.
“Egypt is one of the next frontier GBS/SSC destinations in EMEA regions. It offers investors both the benefits of lower-cost offshore and convenience of nearshore locations. With a population of one-fifth of EU’s total, young and well-educated workforce it offers good opportunities in Finance and Accounting, IT and other typically outsourced functions.”, commented Vitaliy Lehkyy, Manager, Global Location Strategies at Deloitte.
According to the report, The US and UK account for more than 30 percent of the countries of origin of export-oriented business services centers in Egypt. The report revealed that software development (62%), customer service (29%), and IT helpdesk (24%) are the major types of services delivered by the centers in Egypt.
The report highlights Egypt as a top country in terms of availability or supply of talent pool with accounts payable role, only second to the UK. This emphasizes the potential for Egypt to host Finance shared services centers.
The report intentionally does not seek to profile specific cities or rank the locations in order of attractiveness but covering country snapshots with key macroeconomic indicators, human resources landscapes, payroll costs, and key labor code characteristics.