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Flight of jobs between India and US a two-way street

Ronen Sen says Indian companies are setting up operations in this country and employing many Americans.

india Updated: Aug 26, 2006 11:12 IST

The flight of jobs between US and India is "a two-way street" as Indian companies are setting up operations in this country and employing many Americans, Indian ambassador Ronen Sen has said.

"People know about our call centres. What they don't know is that Indian companies are doing the same thing abroad. This is a two-way street. There are seven centres in the United States so far of just one company. There are other companies as well," Sen, who is currently touring North Carolina State, told The News and Observer.

Sen, who would be meeting business, academic and political leaders in North Carolina to strengthen Indo-US ties, argued that Indian firms look at a variety of factors when hiring foreigners even when so much human capital is available at home.

"They look at it in terms of time zones. Not just in the US, but all over Europe. They need people who speak German and other languages. Indian companies are now investing abroad. To be competitive, they need to be based here. Not just offices, but local manufacturing plants," he said.

Asked if Americans should view India as a third world source of cheap labour, Sen maintained that businesses come for the cost savings "but they stay for the quality."

"There are more FDA approved pharmaceutical companies in India than in any other country outside the US," he said.

The envoy said the goal of his North Carolina trip was to network, build on the close relations between India and US and encourage future business cooperation and academic ties.

Sen has already met Governor Mike Easley during the visit that will also take him to Duke University, University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University and the Research Triangle Park.

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