Nearshore Americas

Nasscom’s Letter to President Obama: Don’t Retreat into a “Shell”

SOURCE: Economic Times

For years now, America has stood for and exported to the world, all the technologies and free-market axioms that created this increasingly flat, global economic playing field. You have a domestic constituency to serve, but you also have inherited a larger role of global leadership. America’s success is important for the world economy including India.

Your vis It to India indicates the need for enhancing strategic partnership between the two economies. It is necessary for political leadership in our two countries to develop a long-term strategic vision and nurture it.

There could not be reasons more compelling for the two nations to work towards a strategic partnership based on the commercial relations. With 1.2 billion people and a growing economy, India is a potentially an important market for US exports. US goods exports have already quadrupled over the last seven years to about $17 billion. And service exports have tripled to about $10 billion a year.

Indian companies are the second-fastest-growing investors in the US. They now support about 57,000 jobs in the country. About 239 Indian firms have invested $21 billion in the US through 267 acquisitions between 2004 and 2009. In recent years, Indian FDI in the US has been growing at a much higher rate vis-à-vis US FDI in India. America will do what it is great at. Yet it will have to bank on others to do things that they excel in. Please allow us to convince you through facts.

One in five jobs in America depends on global trade. For the US to retreat into shell or to resist globalization is damaging to growth and dangerous.

For every job outsourced, it creates two new ones. In the past too, companies based outside the US have doubled the number of jobs created in America. And, those workers at US-based subsidiaries of foreign corporations earn significantly more — 31% — vis-à-vis their counterparts at competing firms based in the US.

India exporting IT-BPO services and bidding for IT contracts in the US is no different from America participating in the nuclear, retail, defence and aviation deals here.

Long-term demographics indicate that most countries will have shortage of working age people — we need policies that facilitate quick movement of highly skilled resources and not the ones that restrict movement.

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While in India, we would strongly urge you to revisit the Indian IT story and why it is the most compelling case study on how the two countries have contributed to each others’ success — how Bangalore has helped Buffalo to become competitive. Mr. President, you must view us as a part of a solution the US problems. We are looking forward to building upon the existing relationship and wish your visit a resounding success.

Som Mittal, president, NASSCOM

Kirk Laughlin

Kirk Laughlin is an award-winning editor and subject expert in information technology and offshore BPO/ contact center strategies.

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