Outsourcing's Great Unknowns-Part 3
Date: Saturday, October 22 2005
By Charles Campbell
Published: October 20, 2005
What is the right way forward? In British Columbia today, we are on the cusp of so many changes wrapped in so many contradictions that any answer you might give is wrong. We are a resource-based economy obsessed with "sustainability". We are a Pacific Rim economy facing either Asia's great threat or its enormous opportunity. Our governments wobble back and forth between the interventionist tradition of Europe and the free-market fundamentalism of the U.S.
In our increasingly global business world, corporate power is growing and government power is waning. What's a provincial government to do?
Thomas Friedman, author of the global outsourcing book The World Is Flat, thinks we should attract business by reducing regulatory friction. He's a free-trader who sees outsourcing as just another form of trade. The BC Liberal government clearly shares this view.
Governments certainly can't afford to ignore fundamental economic changes. For B.C., Pacific Rim outsourcing is particularly important because of our province's makeup. Vancouver is the most Chinese city in North America. The province has a huge Indian population. We have to build bridges to India and China, two of the fastest-growing economies in the world - and two leaders in drawing North American jobs offshore.
Late last year at a downtown hotel, Premier Gordon Campbell cut the ribbon to celebrate the opening of a Vancouver office for Tata Consultancy Services, one of India's largest IT outsourcing companies. How special are we? The Vancouver office became the Indian software outsourcing specialist's 54th in North America, and its fourth in Canada. Tata told BC Business magazine its local office will improve outsourcing's 'nearshore optics' for western U.S. clients such as Boeing and Microsoft.