India preffered BPO hub: UK minister
PTI TUESDAY, JULY 01, 2003 09:38:37 AM
LONDON: India has become the preferred global hub for software development and Business Process Outsourcing and UK has benefited substantially from tie-ups with Indian IT enterprises, Mike O'Brien, British Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Office has said.
"UK companies realise the benefits of outsourcing from India, which has become the preferred global hub for software development and Business Process Outsourcing," O'Brien said in his keynote address at a one-day joint Symposium on "International Business Perspectives of India: 2003 and Beyond."
O'Brien said tie-ups between the UK and Indian IT enterprises lend the former substantial benefits "Not only in terms of lower costs, but also in the quality and speed of marketing, as well as helping to build new businesses."
Commonwealth Business Council, London Stock Exchange and the Confederation of Indian Industry organised the Symposium attended by leading industrialists from India and the UK yesterday.
Prominent speakers at the Symposium included Rahul Bajaj, Co-Chair, CBC, and Chairman, Bajaj Autos, Anand Mahindra, President, CII, N K Singh, member, Planning Commission, N A Narayana Murthy, Chairman, Infosys, Udayan Bose, Chairman, Lazard India and Richard Heald, Joint CEO, ABN AMRO Rothschild. O'Brien said there have been skill shortages in the UK and Europe in the IT sector and many have been filled by highly educated Indian professions.
"It is in both our interests that they should be able to obtain work permits here," he said, adding that the latest Home Office figures indicated that, with more than 22,000 work permits issued to people of Indian nationalities in 2001-2002 - 60 per cent of them to IT professionals - India topped the list of countries from where skilled manpower came into UK.
And in the WTO context, he said India has strong interests in obtaining secure long-term access for such professionals through the General Agreement on Trade in Services "Mode 4" on the temporary movement of persons.
Stating that the EC's recent GATS offer was a good one for countries like India, O'Brien said: "It covers intra-corporate transferees, business visitors and contractual service suppliers in no fewer than 22 service sectors."
It would allow those on specific contracts to stay for up to a year, while in 8 sectors there was an offer of greater access for self-employed independent professionals.
"We look forward to seeing the Indian offer soon," he said.
Recalling Prime Minister Tony Blair's recent statement that world trade was the biggest issue faced by the two countries in the next six months, O'Brien said "We have a mutual interest in ensuring that the current trade round, the Doha Development Agenda, opened new markets and reduced barriers in other parts of the world to exports from both our countries - and also in services.
"Halving protectionist barriers to trade worldwide could boost developing country incomes by 150 billion dollars a year, three times the amount currently given in aid," he pointed out.
O'Brien said "You know well that trade has the potential to lift people out of poverty, by maximising opportunities and raising prosperity for all. Indian experience from the early 1990s has shown the beneficial effects of liberalisation on growth, trade - and hence prosperity."
N K Singh said India was committed to play a "constructive role" at CANCUN summit to ensure that it benefited global trade.
Bajaj said India stood for an open deregulated industry. However, some of the approach of developed countries particularly regarding agriculture subsidy was not fully understandable, he said. "650 million people in India get affected because of the agriculture subsidy adopted by developed countries," he said, adding India has a negative subsidy in agriculture.
Mike Hughes, Director, Deutsche Bank, said India was one of the best investment markets in the world.
Matthew Evans, Legal Counsel for British Gas, said British Gas has invested 500 million dollars in India and planned to double it in the next few years.
Someone should remind this Class 'A' pillock who pays his salary.
What he seems to be saying is that he's using his position in government to deliberately destroy the jobs of UK citizens with the express intention of covertly increasing overseas aid to India.
And what remit does he have for this? Absolutely none bar some half-baked socialist idealism, which he would no doubt describe as some form of moral conscience however perverse that may be.
Nobody in the UK elected anyone in this pox-ridden government to implement undisclosed policies like this. He and his ilk should be rounded up and shot, and the sooner the better.
Perhaps we should all be using this new official government term, "self-employed independent professional".