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It's reverse BPO; US county woos Indian cos

Last updated on: August 18, 2004 18:42 IST

Pointing out that it has millions of square feet of vacant office space, an affluent US county has invited Indian and Israeli firms to open their branches, establishing a trend in reverse outsourcing.

The Economic Development Authority of Fairfax County (Virginia), a suburb of the US capital Washington, has opened offices in Bangalore and Tel Aviv to persuade Indian and Israeli firms to open offices in the county.

Outsourcing and India: Complete Coverage

"We looked around to see where the hot technology markets are and how compatible they are with us," said Gerald L Gordon, president of the Authority.

"We are targeting as many as we can get. We tell them: 'You can do business here.'"

Gordon said 21 Israeli companies that specialise in biotechnology or security have asked for details about office space in Fairfax. Potential Federal contracts for defence and homeland security are strong draws, he said.

Meanwhile, Bangalore, with its crop of information technology firms, Gordon pointed out, is seeking to expand into the US.

The county says its recruitment efforts could help quell the increasingly bitter political debate in the US over the migration of US jobs to India.

"There is a great concern (in the US) that high-end jobs are going to India because the costs are less," Gordon said.

"We are reversing that trend. We are bringing Indian companies here to create their jobs here."
T V Parasuram in Washington