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BPO: Kerry clarifies in India Abroad

Last updated on: October 07, 2004 22:32 IST

Finance Minister P Chidambaram Wednesday asked people concerned over the Democratic Party's stand on outsourcing to look at the upcoming issue of India Abroad (dated October 15), a weekly published by in five editions from the United States.

In a surprise reference to the weekly, Chidambaram told 300-odd foreign institutional investors at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York that while the issue of outsourcing has figured in the US presidential election campaigns, especially by Democrats who have opposed outsourcing to countries like India, one should see the next issue of India Abroad for a clarification of the earlier remarks by presidential hopeful John Kerry.

"I was encouraged to learn from a high former Democratic administration official (in Washington DC) who advises Senator Kerry that he will in the next issue of India Abroad clarify his remarks on outsourcing," Chidambaram said.

Late last month President George Bush gave an exclusive interview to India Abroad in which he clarified his position on a many an issue of interest to Indian Americans.

Chidambaram made the remark as he answered questions from investors after delivering the keynote address on the opening day of the two-day India Investment Forum organised by Merrill Lynch and the State Bank of India.

Chidambaram said that he did not think much about the debate over outsourcing in the US. "My experience as a politician tells me that pre-election rhetoric is usually toned down after the elections," he said.

Later talking to journalists during a press conference, Chidambaram said that in none of his one-on-one meetings with foreign institutional investors in the US, did the issue of outsourcing come up even once.

"Certainly, what the world appears to have lost in terms of outsourcing is mainly outweighed by the gains made by insourcing. Certainly, US businesses understand that," he said.

Chidambaram said that for every job the US has outsourced to India, the Philippines or the Malaysia, the US business has gained several-fold orders for production for capital goods, for design, for technology and for machinery.

"I think insourcing gains in the US far outweigh the so-called outsourcing losses," he said.

Suman Guha Mozumder In New York