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Vietnam to be next BPO centre: Microsoft

Bill Gates said Vietnam has the potential to develop as an outsourcing centre similar to India.

india Updated: Apr 24, 2006 15:30 IST

Microsoft Corporation Chairman Bill Gates said Vietnam has the potential to develop as an outsourcing centre similar to India, during his first visit to the Southeast Asian nation.

Gates met Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai and President Tran Duc Luong in Hanoi, before crossing town to take questions from students at the Hanoi University of Technology.

The visit by the head of the world's biggest software company takes place two months after Intel, world's biggest semiconductor maker, said it would build a plant in Vietnam.

"It's great that Intel is coming here, and no doubt that other information-technology manufacturers will see the kinds of skills and labour here and come into the market," Gates said in Hanoi.

"But in no sense should Vietnam specialise in manufacturing. It should also focus on software development, outsourcing. There's an opportunity to do call centres," he added.

Citing the example of India, Gates said, "hopefully Vietnam can also be a country that grows the capacity to supply skills to other countries, including the US."

"Throughout Asia, and particularly here in Vietnam, we have seen great economic development, and the opportunity to create high-paying jobs is strong," Gates said.