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Chinese loans deter poor nations from seeking debt relief says Paris Club chair


China’s increasingly dominant role as a lender to poor countries has deterred many of them from seeking debt relief for fear of losing access to future Chinese funds, according to the head of the Paris Club group of wealthy creditor nations.

Nations “didn’t want to create difficulties with China”, Emmanuel Moulin, chair of the Paris Club and head of the French Treasury, told the Financial Times.

Indebtedness among low-income nations has risen sharply since the start of the pandemic, as healthcare and other costs pushed up public spending while the severe global recession hit output and government receipts.

This triggered an international effort to ease their debt burden. The Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), launched by the G20 group of large economies in April last year, let the world’s poorest countries, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, postpone interest payments owed to official bilateral creditors.

It was originally due to expire at the end of last year but was extended twice and will now end on December 31.

Despite this, few nations have chosen to tap the scheme; just 42 out of 73 eligible countries have applied for support. The $12.7bn deferred fell far short of initial estimates which suggested the DSSI would provide about $20bn of relief in 2020 alone.

This relatively low take-up is partly because of the rapidly growing role China plays in lending to other nations, Moulin said. China has become by far the biggest bilateral lender to countries eligible for the DSSI in recent years, and now accounts for almost two-thirds of their bilateral debts.

“Some countries have decided not to apply for the final [DSSI] extension as they didn’t want to create difficulties with China,” Moulin said. “Some countries have preferred to talk to China and other creditors about new money rather than requesting help under the DSSI.”

However, China has made by far the biggest contribution to the DSSI. Calculations by the Jubilee Debt Campaign, an NGO, estimate that it has deferred payments of $5.7bn, while $4.5bn was deferred by Paris Club member states.

The Paris Club was formed by creditor nations in 1956 to address debts owed by nation states around the world, at a time when its membership dominated the global market for bilateral lending. Today 22 high- and middle-income countries are members.

China has not joined the group and has disagreed with the club over the classification of some of its loans, although it agreed to mirror the Paris Club’s approach to the DSSI.

Moulin said that overall, “We can’t complain about the participation of China in the DSSI. They have been very fair in the way they have implemented it”.

The G20 scheme also called on debtor countries to ask their commercial creditors, such as bondholders and banks, for similar treatment to that provided by bilateral lenders. No participating country has done so, for fear of losing access to future borrowing or causing a downgrade to their credit ratings, which could lead to default.

Participating countries must make up the deferred amounts in full over the following four to six years.

Several factors have eased financial conditions for developing countries since the early months of the pandemic, easing the pressure on them to address their debt burdens. These include the huge liquidity pumped into global markets by the world’s leading central banks, higher commodity prices and an injection of liquidity by the IMF this summer.

As a result, Moulin said, in recent months “the situation was not the same as it was at the start”.

The G20 has devised a common framework for debt treatment beyond the DSSI that will come into force next year. It is much narrower in scope and will only be open to countries with unsustainable debts at risk of falling into default. So far only Ethiopia, Chad and Zambia have asked to take part.

Moulin said progress on the common framework had been slower than expected. “There has been some criticism of the slowness of the process. It is true and we are cognisant of the fact. We would have liked it to be faster,” he said.

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  1. helpware says

    Top 10 Customer Support Outsourcing Companies in 2023 | Helpware
    Outsourcing customer support is a great way to provide
    affordable but reliable service to your clients. Whether for
    voice or non-voice applications, there are plenty of excellent customer support…

    Written by Dana Mahoney
    Sunday, Jan 22
    Table of Contents
    Outsourcing customer support is a great way to provide affordable but reliable service to your clients.
    Whether for voice or non-voice applications, there are plenty of excellent customer support outsourcing companies
    that fit every requirement.
    But then again, why even think about outsourcing? Isn’t local talent good enough to provide the
    service needed by a company’s customers? Plus,
    wouldn’t it be a disservice to customers if a company farms out its frontline operations to contractors?

    What Is Customer Support Outsourcing?

    By now, the best customer service companies should know the value of customer support and
    why it’s an essential cog in an organization. Like sales and
    marketing, customer service should already be in play during a company’s first day, as
    they are the group that comes into direct contact with clients.

    The main goal of customer support is to keep customers
    happy by attending to their needs and responding to their questions.
    However, it’s also a way to instill loyalty and generate additional sales.
    To do so, an outsourcing company must have its
    support team available whenever the customer needs it. Outsourcing customer support allows companies to maintain an around-the-clock
    service team managed by industry veterans and experts.

    Advantages of Customer Support Outsourcing
    Admittedly, not all company startups have leaders who are experts in every facet of their operations.

    Given their many responsibilities, many startup founders accept that they can’t do
    everything themselves. Non-core competencies such as customer service can benefit
    from outsourcing.
    Turning the service over to competent experts lets companies benefit
    from a bigger source of talent from all over the world. At the same time,
    companies that outsource customer support enjoy reduced payroll without sacrificing service quality.

    Other benefits of outsourcing include:
    More Opportunities to Grow the Business
    By assigning customer support to expert outsourcing service
    providers, leaders can instead turn to scaling
    the business. Overseeing the day-to-day operations can already take much of
    management’s time, and customer support is equally demanding.
    To help executives focus on the big picture, they’ll need to
    partner with the best service companies that know what they’re doing.

    Enhance Customer Experience
    Given the opportunity to communicate and interact with customer service, many customers will
    express their satisfaction in getting their voices heard.
    If customer service companies and their
    team address customers’ issues in a satisfactory way, they’re more
    than likely to remain customers.
    A pleasant customer experience will almost always lead
    to longer retention and a significantly higher customer lifetime value (CLV).

    This isn’t to say a stellar customer experience is only possible through outsourcing.
    Rather, the chances of improving customer satisfaction come with a continuous and consistent
    level of service. Providing a highly specialized, dedicated team of
    professionals from day one is a great way to achieve this quickly.

    Top 10 Customer Support Outsourcing Companies

    We’ve narrowed down the list of companies with great customer service to the top 10 most prominent ones
    in 2022. We’ll also provide a brief description and highlight the main strong points of each outsourcing company.

    1. Helpware

    Helpware started in 2015 with the initial goal of providing support to startup
    companies. Over the years, the company has grown big and is confident enough to provide both enterprise and small business customer service outsourcing solutions.

    Providing back office, technical, and customer support, Helpware specializes in assisting companies in various support areas.
    This includes Omnichannel Customer Support, Technical
    & IT Support, Content Moderation, CX Consulting Services, Back Office Support, Data Labeling,
    Digital Marketing Solutions, and Cyber Security. The company provides only dedicated agents, in-house training, and
    equipment to help its clients boost their productivity from day one.
    Now it’s one of the top customer service companies in the US and European markets with numerous awards and positive reviews from satisfied clients on Clutch and other reputable platforms.

    Helpware’s people-focused culture seems very attractive
    to businesses sharing the same philosophy.
    Shows outstanding flexibility when providing for clients’ specific needs.
    This means its support can scale along with your company’s growth.

    Offers turn-key solutions, so you don’t have to look for either option separately.

    Helpware’s focused on developing its people and their
    skills and it pays off handsomely, especially in customer support outsourcing contracts.
    Some global brands are happy to have their customer support outsourced
    to Helpware.
    2. Sykes

    U.S.-based Sykes is one of the pioneers of the BPO industry.
    Established in 1995, the company trailblazed its way
    to the top and was one of the first BPOs to open multiple locations.
    In 2021, the Sitel Group acquired Sykes to widen its
    reach and increase its capacity.
    Sykes is one of the top 10 service companies and leading service providers of demand generation and customer engagement services,
    with clients included in the top 2000 companies worldwide.
    At the core of Sykes’ business are its staple services:
    outsourcing, customer experience, service to
    sales, digital transformation, and brand extension.
    Sykes maintains a pool of service agents from its clients’ home countries.

    The company is well-versed in matters concerning data privacy.
    Specifically, Sykes follows various privacy guidelines, including HIPAA compliance and Payment Card Industry (PCI) data security

    3. Ascensos

    Founded in 2013 in the UK, Ascensos is one of those outsourced customer service
    companies that wanted to change the customer experience by applying a personal touch to customer care.

    The company is now Europe’s number-one customer support outsourcing company, providing bespoke customer experience solutions to clients around the world.
    In addition, its contact center operation locations include the UK, Romania, Turkey,
    and South Africa.
    Ascensos is more nearshore than an offshore
    support center, so location and time zone differences aren’t as pronounced
    as operations in Asia and South America.
    Companies that outsource customer service to Ascensos
    value the fact that it supports diversity
    and inclusivity among staff while focusing on promoting
    happiness as a key asset among its workforce.

    Although there aren’t any published pricing rates, instead, Ascensos will
    individually respond to requests for quotes, the
    prices of this outsourcing customer service company are more than affordable.

    4. Teleperformance

    With more than 40 years of experience in the BPO industry,
    Teleperformance is an established leader in solution design,
    business optimization strategies, and front-office customer support.
    It also offers back-office services such as finance and accounting, collections, and technical support.

    Teleperformance is a truly global service provider. It operates in 80 countries and employs more than 330,000 agents speaking over 265 languages and
    deservedly belongs to a league of good customer service companies.
    You won’t find it difficult to get support in the language and location you
    Clients also appreciate the company’s expertise in providing omnichannel
    5. VXI

    VXI Global Solutions is one of those outsourcing agencies that offer
    customer care and customer experience (CX) solutions to some of today’s major global brands.
    In addition, the company offers contact center and
    BPO services, omnichannel and multilingual support, software development, CX innovation, quality assurance (QA), and infrastructure outsourcing.
    VXI employs more than 35,000 workers in 43
    countries throughout North America, Asia, Europe, and
    the Caribbean.
    The company also prides itself on its ability to help clients resolve major CX and employee
    experience (EX) pain points and take their customer service systems to the next level.
    Like any modern BPO, VXI employs omnichannel support services to enhance communication coverage
    for clients. Also, VXI provides additional analytics and insights generation services so clients can learn as they go.

    High CX expertise leads to enhanced customer and employee experience.

    VXI displays an uncanny ability to scale up or down to fit its client’s capabilities.

    6. InfluX

    In its quest to build the world’s first remote-only CX team,
    InfluX managed to recruit employees from more than 120 cities worldwide.
    This strategy also lets them provide 24-hour customer support outsourcing solutions within the client’s time
    zone. In addition, InfluX creates specialized customer experiences
    that reflect the client’s vision, voice, and values.

    Less dependence on automation and more on human interaction make for a
    better customer experience.
    Having employees in every time zone solves the common offshore problem of mismatched
    time schedules between clients and outsourcing companies.

    Pay-as-go pricing may be attractive to some clients who prefer flexible packages.

    7. Skycom

    Skycom is also on the list of nearshore outsourcing companies that specialize
    in multi-continent support services. The company employs native English contact
    center agents with experience in multiple industries.
    Skycom also offers a full range of services, including business process outsourcing, telemarketing and sales, customer support, and healthcare.
    With more than 15 years of experience, Skycom also employs over 2,000 workers assigned to 35 clients in five countries.

    Nearshore operations mean fewer problems dealing with time zone and distance differences.

    Skycom covers a wide range of industries, including healthcare,
    travel, utilities, IT, finance, retail, and telecommunications.

    8. Integra

    Integra’s differentiator is its focus on training its workforce in customer psychology.
    This means company-provided support agents are more sensitive in detecting changes in the customer’s voice or tone.
    As a result, they can respond to these changes
    to defuse any tension and lead the customer into a more
    positive mindset. Starting with four employees in 2004, Integra
    currently employs more than 1,400 workers stationed across four countries.

    It handles customer service duties over the phone,
    email, live chat, or social media.
    Integra offers some of the most cost-effective solutions in the industry.

    Sales psychology is also an incredible asset to have if you work in a customer support outsourcing company.

    9. Telus

    Telus International is one of the world’s leading digital CX innovators.
    In particular, it designs and produces next-generation digital solutions
    for brands all over the world. This is one of the Canadian top IT outsourcing companies that provide IT services and multilingual
    customer service to industries such as technology, media, communications, eCommerce, financial technology, travel, hospitality, automotive, healthcare, and games.

    Telus International is a premium multilingual contact center.
    It is one of those IT support outsourcing companies that offer top-tier customer support services in various countries and more than 50 languages.

    Telus is famous among IT services outsourcing companies for organizing an annual charitable initiative called
    “Telus Days of Giving.” In particular, the company taps 225,000 volunteers from its offices to complete various service
    projects across its many host countries.
    10. Arise

    Arise is a 25-year-old United States-based company that specializes in providing support outsourcing services across the USA.
    It employs more than 60,000 remote agents in the U.S., Canada,
    and the United Kingdom. Unlike a traditional BPO,
    Arise utilizes a network of service partners to provide the needed customer service
    experiences. In addition, the Arise Platform helps companies lower expenses.

    As a result, Arise clients report an average 25% reduction in contact center service total costs, which
    is why clients want to outsource customer service small business really needs.

    Arise deploys a tiered security approach in its communications with clients.

    This ensures they preserve the confidentiality of
    documents or files sent over. It also means Arise conforms to widely accepted data
    privacy regulations such as HIPAA, CCPA, and others.
    Arise also focuses its employment on local talent, hiring residents of the U.S., UK,
    and Canada. This means stable employment for the company and an easier method of
    hiring or replacing staff members.
    Choose the Best Outsourcing Companies That Fit Your Needs
    Deciding which outsourcing providers to contact for your
    customer support outsourcing needs? Perform the necessary
    research before settling on your choice.
    For instance, some customer service outsource companies on our list might command a pricing structure higher than what your budget holds.

    In addition, consider your company’s specific requirements and areas for
    improvement. Do you need a customer support team
    focused on CX? Or, do you prefer having sales psychology-trained outbound callers who can close deals?

    Finally, does the appeal of higher-cost nearshoring resonate better than offshore talents a
    few time zones away?
    No one-size-fits-all solution exists when it comes to customer support outsourcing.
    However, if you want a highly flexible and secure customer service solution that utilizes modern technology throughout
    the various stages, try the best companies for
    customer service. These largest outsourcing companies not only supply the best talent, but also the best equipment and training to prepare them.

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