US slowdown will not reduce Indian exports: Mahajan

CIOL Bureau
New Update

Wong Choon Mei


KUALA LUMPUR: Indian Information Technology Minister Pramod Mahajan said on

Monday that Indian exports would not be dragged by the US economic slowdown

although profitability might be reduced. "The size of the economy will not

shrink, the size of businesses will not shrink, although margins may fall here

and there," Pramod told reporters after opening Indian software company

NIIT's regional multimedia development centre in Kuala Lumpur.

Pramod is accompanying India's premier Atal Behari Vajpayee who is on a

three-day-visit to Malaysia during which, a raft of economic agreements are

expected to be signed. "The US slowdown will not last more than three or

four quarters and we view it as an opportunity for Indians to prepare for the

next phase of development," he said.

India's tech industry is valued at about $8 billion but the sector has been

hit by a downturn in the US economy, its main market, which accounts for more

than half of total sales.


Eyes now on ASEAN

India's technology-savvy firms such as Infosys Technologies, Satyam Computer
Services and Wipro have been successful in the international arenas. It now eyes

the awakening markets of Asean, a trading bloc of 10 nations comprising,

Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam,

Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

As an emerging global computer software power, India will be looking to take

advantage of Malaysia's infrastructure facilities in its high-tech Multimedia

Super Corridor (MSC), industry leaders said. The MSC is one of the most

ambitious projects launched by Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad to help the

country achieve developed nation status by 2020.

Malaysia's is among the world's leading chip manufacturers, sub-contracting

for some of the largest US computer giants such as Intel Corp and Dell Computer

Corp. India is Malaysia's 11th largest trading partner.

(C) Reuters Limited 2001.