Falling EU population to boost Indian BPOs

By agencies   |   Monday, 23 May 2005, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: India can cash in on the demographic decline and aging in Europe to turn into the outsourcing hub for a range of services.

By 2020, most of the developed European countries will have problem finding people in the working age group. This is because development is accompanied by a decline in the proportion of working age people to total population as birth rates decline and life expectancy improves.

The European Union (EU) is so concerned about the impact of demographic decline and aging on the economy that the European Commission (EC) has highlighted the need to review the immigration policies for the longer term. It has initiated a debate in its Green Paper on a EU Approach to Managing Economic Migration that the Member states need to relax and harmonize their immigration policies.

''Between 2010 and 2030, at current immigration flows, the decline in the EU-25's working age population will entail a fall in the number of employed people of some 20 million. Such developments will have a huge impact on overall economic growth, the functioning of the internal market and the competitiveness of EU enterprises.'' In fact, there is a competition among the main regions of the world to attract skilled, educated and English-speaking migrants.

There is going to be a situation where the competing regions would offer rights to migrants better than their competitors.

''The EU must also take account of the fact that the main world regions are already competing to attract migrants to meet the needs of the economies. This highlights the importance of ensuring that an EU economic migration policy delivers a secure legal status and a guaranteed set of rights to assist the integration of those who are admitted.'' Here lies an opportunity for Indians who can go and become the global service providers to the EU enterprises, feel experts.

According to estimates, by 2020 India will have a surplus of 47 million people who can be gainfully used by the recipient countries, which are placed at a demographic disadvantage. India, in this field will have competition only from smaller countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Egypt.

Whatever the level of competition, India certainly enjoys a competitive edge when it comes to providing knowledge-driven services like IT and R&D.

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