Indian Tech Companies Tell Protectionist Obama They Are Not Stealing Jobs But Creating Them


DAVOS – With HCL Technologies announcing 10,000 jobs for locals in the U.S. and Europe, India Inc on Thursday chose the WEF meet to send a strong message that Indian IT firms are creating and not stealing jobs in troubled western economies.

Also, a message emerged from British Prime Minister David Cameron’s advice to the European Union (EU) that instead of being a threat, the emerging economies like India can be of great help to Europe. Concluding a Free Trade Agreement(FTA) with India by the year-end would be in Europe’s interest, he said.

“We need to have a check-list to tackle the euro crisis… There has to be FTAs, bilateral trade agreements and EU trade agreements with countries like India and Singapore, among others by the end of the year,” he said. His plain-speak to Brussels (EU headquarters) comes against delay in trade-opening pact with India.

Barely a day after President Barack Obama hit out against outsourcing, HCL Technologies’ Vice Chairman Vineet Nayar made a major announcement here that his company would create 10,000 locals jobs in the US and Europe in the next five years.

“Companies in today’s world of globalisation need to create jobs wherever they go. We have taken a pioneering step…”, he said.

Wipro chief Azim Premji, known for his frank talk, said the issue of outsourcing is “getting hyped up since elections are coming up… The U.S. has become over-sensitive on jobs”.

Chairman of Mahindra Satyam Vineet Nayyar hinted at creating jobs in the western economies from where they get bulk of business. “Indian firms when they go overseas, will have to create jobs there. We will certainly do so,” he said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also wanted investment in Europe to create employment. Obama in his State of Union address had hit out at outsourcing.

“No American company should be able to avoid paying its fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits overseas. From now on, every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax. And every penny should go towards lowering taxes for companies that choose to stay here and hire here,” he had said.

Amid economic uncertainties and rising unemployment in the western world, the focus is on generation of jobs. On Wednesday, Citigroup chief Vikram Pandit had said that job-creation was the single biggest issue, both in developed and developing markets.

According to him, 400 million new jobs could be needed to be generated in next 10 years. Indian IT industry, which rakes in about $ 60 billion revenues from overseas markets, depends significantly on outsourcing of business processes of the Western companies.

Painting a pessimistic outlook, the International Labour Organisation earlier this week had said that urgent attention is needed to create 600 million new jobs in the next 10 years.

“Despite strenuous government efforts, the jobs crisis continues unabated, with one in three workers worldwide, or an estimated 1.1 billion people, either unemployed or living in poverty,” ILO said.