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The World Bank estimates that India will possess the fourth largest economy in the world by 2020. The emerging global scenario will open up greater opportunities for countries with a surplus of well-educated, highly skilled labour that can provide an attractive commercial environment|
for the outsourcing of manufacturing and service businesses from high and even middle income countries.
India’s recent boom in outsourcing of IT services, further facilitated by declining costs of international communication and transportation, only points to the wide range of economic opportunities existing in the manufacturing and service businesses. At the same time, the pressure
for export of highly educated and highly skilled individuals will also increase, so that a significant migration of scientific, engineering and medical talent is likely to continue. Steps however need to be taken to ensure that such migration is not detrimental to the country’s development.
Export of services is a field in which India can excel. Computerisation, coupled with lowcost global telecommunications are generating rapid growth of trade in service businesses, such as software and IT enabled services.
This trend will further accelerate, opening up vast opportunities for countries with the capacity to deliver low-cost, high-quality services. India already commands an impressive 18.5 per cent share in the global market for customised software and the Indian software industry is the fastest growing in the world. A NASSCOM-McKinsey report estimated that by 2008, the global market for IT enabled services alone will exceed $1,000 billion, and that India’s export of IT services will exceed $50 billion, which is double the country’s total export of goods and services in 2000.
In addition, India’s established credentials in IT and IT enabled services can be leveraged to develop a competitive advantage in other fields, including other branches of engineering, branches of scientific research, especially biotechnology, medicine, pharmaceuticals,
and agriculture, as well as education. Performance in these sectors will depend on the country’s capacity to generate larger numbers of well-educated and competent scientists, engineers and professionals.