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Thursday, Mar 04, 2004

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`Britain will not stop outsourcing'

Our Bureau

Pune , March 3

INDIAN companies agonising over the outcry in the western world, especially Britain and the US over the issue of work being outsourced to India, have no cause for worry as far as the British Government's policy is concerned.

In a categorically expressed statement in Pune today, the British High Commissioner in India, Mr Michael Arthur, said the British Government will not stop British companies from either outsourcing work to Indian companies or setting up companies here that will do work outsourced out of Britain.

"The British government has a strong and robust view on outsourcing work to other countries. If a British company decides it is good for its business to contract or outsource work to India or any other country, the government will do nothing to stop them from doing," Mr Arthur said.

"We believe in the global marketplace and free trade and outsourcing is a kind of global marketplace in the service sector," he said.

The British High Commissioner, however, said the Government was concerned about the people in Britain who would lose their jobs due to the outsourcing of work and said it was tackling the issue by re-training and equipping this section of the populace to move further up the service industry chain.

Britain has over 5,500 existing call centres that came up after the country's manufacturing industry declined.

Mr Arthur who was in Pune to visit some of the British operations in the city such as HSBC and Mahindra British Telecom, said a strong new partnership is now emerging between the two countries with each of them leveraging their strengths to get ahead.

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