India wants to be China in IT manufacturing


12 Jan 2012
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India wants to be China in IT manufacturing: Robert D Atkinson, ITIF

India wants to be like China in IT manufacturing sector and the US needs to work hard to make sure that New Delhi does not go down to Beijing consensus path, an eminent American expert has told a Congress-appointed Commission.

"One of the biggest problems I see with what we have termed the Beijing consensus is that other countries now appear to be adopting it, Brazil most recently, but now India," Robert D Atkinson, founder-President of Information Technology and Innovation Foundation ( ITIF), told lawmakers at a Congressional hearing.

"India has essentially has manufacturing envy, and...So they're saying, you know, 'We want to be China. We want to produce all our IT'," said Atkinson.

He said it was amazing that India would even consider this because its strength is in the use of IT, in the software and services side.

"That's where they developed real global competitive advantage," Atkinson said in response to a question from Robin Cleveland, Commissioner of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which was created by the US Congress in October 2000.

He said that if India wants to "then get worse IT and more expensive IT if through working some of these policies which is what the result will be, then it means the toxins of the world and... these are going to pay higher prices and be less competitive".

Indians, Atkinson went on to argue, don't seem to quite understand that trade-off.

He added, however, "I'm less worried about India because I think fundamentally India will move in the right direction. India is much more to me like America. They have more Americanised values I think. They're a democracy.

"...even though they have some state-owned company, they have a very strong private sector world of CEOs who want to do the right thing."

Atkinson said, "So I think we have to really work hard to make sure India doesn't go down to Beijing consensus path. But I think they're easier to work with."

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