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Wales creates jobs via Indian firms
Freny Patel in Mumbai | April 01, 2004 09:03 IST
Here is a twist to the BPO story: The Wales region of Britain is attracting maximum fresh jobs -- thanks in part to Indian corporates.
Companies such as TCS, Wockhardt, Indo-Fuji and the Pune-based BUI are some of the domestic players to have set up base in Wales.
Welsh Development Agency international property manager David Green-Morgan says, "This has helped reverse the outflow of jobs from Wales with the creation of 8,000 jobs from various countries including India in the last one year."
An important factor influencing inward investment into Wales is the high percentage of government grants at 35 per cent.
"The Welsh government offers the highest grant assistance to project cost to attract investment," said Morgan.
This means that 35 per cent of the total project cost will be borne by the government over a period of three years. Foreign investors see Wales as the ideal window to selling their wares in the European Union given the huge grants.
This has been reflected in the numbers. Wales has captured 8.5 per cent of projects coming to the United Kingdom, and attracted 4,903 jobs from UK projects, thereby capturing 14.3 per cent of total jobs coming to UK, according to the latest published figures of Welsh Development Agency.
"One needs to expect some jobs to move out, but this in the long run will help the Welsh economy move the next stage of development," said Morgan.
He is optimistic that all the jobs that have gone out of Wales will be reabsorbed due to indigenous companies expanding in the region and on account of inward traffic.
In the last couple of decades, Wales has attracted investment to the tune of $14 billion.
"We hope to attract more jobs from India, which will help balance the jobs outsourced from Wales. A lot of enquiries have come from IT, biotech, pharmaceutical, and manufacturing outfits," said Morgan.
With the cost of establishing enterprises in Wales being 30 per cent cheaper than London, and 15-20 per cent cheaper than any other region in the UK; not to mention the superior quality of the workforce, Wales has become an attractive investment destination for Indian corporates, said Morgan.
The Welsh call centre alone is reportedly expected to lose 10,000 jobs. This follows 150 Lloyds TSB insurance jobs being exported, and Norwich Union axing 100 posts in Cardiff as well as the banking group HSBC axing 130 jobs at its Swansea call centre.