No Stopping Outsourcing: UK

New Delhi, Feb 20: | Updated: Feb 21 2004, 05:30am hrs
The United Kingdom has no intention of stopping outsourcing as the decision is best left to companies who have to aim at being internationally competitive, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) chief executive officer (CEO) Stephen Brown has said.

In an interview with FE, Mr Brown said outsourcing could not be stopped in a globalised world as the cheapest providers of human resources would be preferred over costlier options. Ultimately it is the customer who would benefit from reduced prices, he said.

Mr Brown said governments should work towards creating alternative job opportunities for employees who lose jobs due to outsourcing.

UKTI is a government organisation that supports both companies in the UK trading internationally and overseas enterprises seeking to locate in the UK.

Mr Brown said the issue of outsourcing featured prominently in his discussions with commerce secretary Dipak Chatterjee. The UK does not view creating jobs in India in a negative light. If outsourced jobs helps the Indian economy to grow, then it will lead to creation of more wealth and greater trade with the UK, he said.

The reiteration of UKs positive approach towards outsourcing is welcome in India in the light of the recent ban imposed in the US on government outsourcing.

Mr Brown, who was on a three-day visit to India, met a number of companies in Delhi and Bangalore with business interests in the UK.

I think there is a huge potential for tie-ups in the software sector and bio-technology. I had fruitful meetings with a number of companies, he said.

The food sector is another emerging area where there is tremendous scope of Indo-UK cooperation. The people in my country enjoy Indian food and there is a lot of opportunity in the area.

The on-going World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations also featured prominently in Mr Browns discussion with Mr Chatterjee. We swapped notes on a number of issues. Both sides recognise that if an agreement is to be reached, everybody has to compromise, he said.

Mr Brown said it was good that bilateral trade in goods and services between the two countries was on the rise with more than 450 Indian companies setting up operations in the UK. With both the economies doing well, I expect the number of tie-ups to go up substantially this year, he added.