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 Outsourcing outsourcing

Published 6/8/2008 11:35:00 PM - Middle East and Africa

The global outsourcing industry was worth an estimated US$70 billion in 2007 and witnessed 30% growth in 2006.  Though India dominates the industry with a 2/3 market share, a "talent crunch" has contributed towards a growing trend among Indian firms to re-export their services to the Middle East and Africa (MEA).  Indian IT giants Satyam and Wipro set up shop in Egypt in January and August 2007 respectively.

Low wages, relevant language skills, improved ICT skills and recent reforms within these countries make the MEA a more attractive business climate than was the case only a few years ago. Many governments are also offering a range of generous tax benefits to lure in foreign firms.  This eagerness is also illustrated by ICT strategies in countries such as Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Egypt and Jordon where a great deal of emphasis is placed on the role that outsourcing can play in fostering ICT development as well as broader socio-economic development.  In Egypt alone estimates for total IT export services range from $450-900 million. 

If the outsourcing industry continues to grow at the pace we have seen in recent years, we can expect the MEA to capture and increasingly larger slice of the BPO pie.

By James Erickson

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