Google has launched a new office in Manila, Philippines, in a bid to strengthen its investment in the country and expansion within Southeast Asia.
According to a statement made on Wednesday by the search giant, the new office is part of Google's ongoing efforts to provide and improve services for its Filipino users, help the country's businesses grow, both locally and globally, and tap local talent.
"The Philippines is a key country in Southeast Asia in terms of its digital economy and tech-savvy population," Julian Persaud, managing director of Google Southeast Asia said in the statement. According to Persaud, more than 33 million Filipinos access the Internet regularly, and Internet usage is set to grow exponentially.
Presidential Communications Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III said in the same statement that the government hopes Google's entrance will encourage more local businesses to go online and tap international markets.
The new office, headed by Narciso Reyes, former head of sales at Google Philippines, is currently looking to hire, and job openings will be posted on its local jobs pages "in the coming days."
In December, Google also launched Free Zone in the Philippines through a partnership with local telco Globe Telecom. The service allows Globe subscribers to access Google services, specifically Search, Gmail, and Google+, on their mobile phone for free. Google has also expanded the service to South Africa through a partnership with mobile operator 8.ta.
The Manila office is the search giant's fifth office in Southeast Asia, alongside Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and its Asia-Pacific headquarters, Singapore. It has also been developing new data centers around Asia, located in Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, with these data centers expected to improve performance of Google services by 30 percent.