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Comments on outsourcing need not bother us: Chidambaram

November 05, 2008 14:14 IST
Last Updated: November 05, 2008 15:57 IST

Welcoming the election of Democrat Barack Obama as President of the United States, Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday said that his comments on outsourcing of services should not bother India.

"A comment here and a comment there (on outsourcing of services to India) should not bother us. . . once Obama is in office, he will realise that it is an interconnected world and countries have to work together," he said.

"The US -- as the world's largest economy -- and India -- as the world's largest free market democracy -- have to work together," he said, adding that Indo-US relations would continue to improve under the new administration.

Commenting on Obama's election as President, Chidambaram said, "It is a transformational change in the US and many ghosts have been exorcised by this election."

"I think this (election of Obama) is a tribute to the US democracy that a young, forward-looking black has been elected," he added.

Industry downplays fear on outsourcing

Indian industry, particularly those working closely with US firms, today hailed Barack Obama's victory as the next American President, playing down the fears of an adverse impact on flourishing outsourcing business.

"Relations between the two countries will grow further. Bilateral trade is expected to reach $60 billion this year," president of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce S K Jain said. India-US trade stood at USD 45 billion in 2007-08.

Jain said Obama has been supporting Indo-US relations, including the nuclear deal. The IACC chief said he has no fears about India losing on the business process outsourcing (BPOs).

The American Chamber of Commerce in India, popularly known as AMCHAM, also down played election statements of the Democratic leader.

"We are convinced that any statement, which may been made, will not have any adverse impact on outsourcing to India," AMCHAM executive director Ajay Singha said.

Singha, who is hosting a delegation here from the US next week, said the American business is in the hands of the private sector without much government control.

India's software services exports (including IT and BPOs) grossed in revenues of over $40 billion in 2007-08 with over 60 per cent of the business coming from the US.

Exporters, however, remained apprehensive on Obama's election stand of fiscal disincentives to the US firms outsourcing jobs.

"The anti-outsourcing stance of Obama as well as H1B visa (restrictions) may affect Indian IT and BPO sector," executive director of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations Ajay Sahai said.

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