Infosys, Wipro hope Obama will not hurt US competitiveness (Lead)

February 25th, 2009 - 11:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaBangalore, Feb 25 (IANS) Indian IT bellwethers Infosys Technologies and Wipro Wednesday expressed confidence that the US would not take any measure that would hurt its global competitiveness.
Reacting cautiously to US President Barack Obama’s remarks on outsourcing Tuesday, Infosys said outsourcing had enhanced the competitiveness of US corporations and had created more jobs within the US economy.

“The US is a very open economy and a strong proponent of free trade globally. We are confident the US will not take any measure, which might hurt its global competitiveness,” Infosys said in a statement here.

In his first address to the joint session of the US Congress in Washington, Obama said there would be no tax breaks to US companies that outsource their jobs abroad. “We need to wait for more details to understand Obama’s statement,” Infosys added.

Wipro said in the current economic environment, it was imperative for global corporations to collaborate on technology and innovation. Wipro executive director and chief financial officer Suresh Senapaty said policies of protectionism would only hinder the revival of the world economy.

IT industry body National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) said it was heartening to note that Obama had supported the need to “avoid protectionism” in his speech.

“This is not the time for protectionism but for global collaboration, if the world is to come out of this economic downturn quickly. We hope that all other countries would support this and continue to be proponents of free trade,” Nasscom said in a statement from New Delhi.

“Global outsourcing has helped (US) companies gain the vital competitive edge - time to market, transformation of businesses, integration of processes, reduce costs and enhance efficiency - all of which are key drivers for revival of economic activity,” it added.

The Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in a statement issued from New Delhi, expressed concern over Obama’s statement, saying “protectionist measures could deteriorate the situation further”.

“Coming at a time when the global economy is going through a phase of slowdown and when countries need to work collectively, protectionist measures of any kind could deteriorate the situation further,” FICCI said.

On the likely impact the US move could have on Indian companies, FICCI said: “We will have to wait and see how the rules are framed and implemented.”

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