Belgium woos Indian firms at BangaloreIT.Com 2002

Tuesday, 29 October 2002, 08:00 Hrs
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BANGALORE: It is only the second day at Asia's largest IT event, the BangaloreIT.Com 2002, with business visitors trickling in slowly. But Belgian Senator Paul Wille is seen shifting from one chair at one table to another.

He is interacting with one group of executives of one Indian IT company at one table and with another at the next table in the modest stall of Export Vlaanderen, Flanders' Export Promotion Agency.

"We have come with seven or eight companies this time. Next year, our delegation is going to be three to four times bigger," Wille told IANS in between moving from one group to another.

"We have plenty of reasons to come here. It is not for outsourcing but for a win-win situation. We know your strengths (time advantage, English speaking and skills) and weaknesses (infrastructure and cost of telecom)."

"We should be able to get three to four deals through in the next couple of days. One of our companies is looking for a joint venture in architecture and services," he said pointing at one group of Indian executives, who were interacting with another Flanders' official, before he joined the other group of Indian executives.

Jayant Nadiger, trade commissioner of Flanders, the federated state of Belgium, said: "We have technologies to offer in Internet security, telecom equipment and services, banking, automotive, noise and vibration analysis. India could look for cooperation and collaboration in telecom and software services sector."

The Belgium market is as big as euro 14.3 billion, says Nadiger.

"We are the true centre of Europe. Any Indian company can reach any part of Europe and we have no restrictions on Indians setting up company there. Indian companies can set up customising development centres there in areas like telecom and financial sector," says Ben De Smit, director, business development, Flanders Foreign Investment Office (FFIO), Singapore.

Smit points to the presence of Tata Consulting Services, Infosys Technologies, NIIT and others. He quotes names of Creax, Curans Consulting, Deduco, Robonetics, Barco and Telendes, among others with presence in India.

"Yes, we do welcome Indian IT professionals. If a Belgian cannot do a job, the company can recruit from India. Indian companies can get their own employees from here. It would be suicidal not to hire foreign workers, if we do not have the skill sets that we need."

P. Yesuthasen, director of the Chennai-based Curans IT India, a subsidiary of the Belgium company, said: "Culturally, there is no problem at all. And, there is really no country risk for an Indian company there."

Source: IANS
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