India the ‘back office’ of the world says Chinese consul general, why not front office?

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Sunday, February 22, 2009

KOLKATA - India can rightly be called the back office of the world for its achievements in Information Technology (IT) and IT-enabled services, Chinese Consul General in Kolkata Mao Siwei said Sunday.

‘Now China is called the ‘factory of the world,’ while India the ‘back office of the world’. That means the world recognises the achievements of the two largest developing countries. In the last 10 years, China has become the leader in manufacturing while India is outstanding in IT and IT-enabled services,’ Mao said at a seminar on manufacturing in India and China here.

Referring to a survey report by Capgemini, a global consulting, technology and outsourcing services company, in 2007 that predicted India could challenge the position of China as the manufacturing centre of the world in next three to five years, he said India is all set for ‘action’.

‘I believe, soon India will be another manufacturing hub of the world after China, and China will be another IT-enabled service centre after India,’ Mao said.

Focusing on China’s growth in manufacturing, he said China is the second largest manufacturer in the world along with Japan, with US in the first position.

‘After 30 years’ hard efforts, China has become the world’s second largest producer of over 200 kinds of products, including steel, various electronic goods, such as TV sets, refrigerators, air conditioners, DVD players and telephones, personal computers, toys, shoes, garments and textiles.’

But he noted that there are still some shortcomings in China’s manufacturing.

‘There are certain problems and shortcomings of China’s manufacturing that our economists and industrialists need to pay attention to. First, a large part of China’s manufacturing industries are still labour intensive and in the low value added segments.’

‘Apart from that, China now is able to manufacture numerous high-tech products but still has not mastered core technologies in many sectors and has to import key components. The development of China’s manufacturing has so far relied too much on overseas demand.’

Mao further said China has a long way to go to become a ‘manufacturer’ in true sense.

‘Many people think China is the largest manufacturing centre of the world. But actually it is only a ‘workshop’. To be a real manufacturing centre of the world, China has a long way to go. We must not be pleased too much with ‘Made in China’. We should set a higher target and try our best for ‘Created in China’,’ he said.

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