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India's IT sector eyes S Africa, West Asia

May 26, 2008 13:55 IST
With major IT markets in US, Europe and Japan expecting to witness a slowdown, Indian Information  and Communication Technology (ICT) sector is now turning to South Africa and West Asian markets in a bigger way.

"The South African market offers huge opportunities for the Indian ICT sector," D K Sareen, executive director, Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC), told PTI here.

Sareen, who stopped over in Dubai to attend a leading IT  show, on his way back from South Africa said ESC, which is an  autonomous body under the Ministry of Communications and IT,  had plans to merge South Africa in the UAE/Middle East representation area to enhance the IT business.

ESC has also signed a MoU with Electronics Industry Federation of South Africa to promote cooperation and exchange of information in the field of ICT, he said. South Africa continues as a strategic market for ICT vendors as many of them view this country as a vital  springboard into Africa, he said, adding, Indian companies who participated in Computer Fair Johannesburg' 08 last week,  received a very good response.

A number of multinational ICT organisations drive their  African ICT operations from South Africa, and a growing number  are including their Middle East territories under local  management as well, Sareen said.

Besides South Africa, ESC has plans to make the presence of Indian ICT industry felt in the Gulf Region as well,
Kamal Vachani, regional director of ESC for the Middle East, said.

With its strategic location, Dubai is the ideal base for multinationals targeting markets in Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and Eastern Mediterranean.

"Dubai has emerged as a leading regional commercial hub with state-of-art infrastructure and a world class business environment. It has now become the logical place to do business in the Middle East, providing investors with a unique and comprehensive value added platform," he added.

Indian electronic and software exports to South Africa have increased steadily in the last few years, registering a rise of 41.54 per cent in 2006-2007 as compared to 2005-2006.

Meanwhile, computer, software and service exports into the Middle-east registered an increase of 5.54 per cent during the same period.

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