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|May 4, 1999
UAE keen on software trade with IndiaSonny Abraham in Dubai
Speaking at the inauguration of the first India IT and software expo here on Sunday, Tayer said the UAE is aware of the great strides taken by India in this area.
"We in the UAE are aware of the significant strengths of the Indian firms and want to take advantage to boost trade flows in this sector," Tayer said.
He urged India's National Association of Software and Service Companies to explore the possibility of setting up a software technology park in the UAE.
Asoke Mukherji, consul-general of India in Dubai, said Indian and UAE companies should work together to tap the enormous potential offered by the IT business.
He said Indian IT companies should look at the possibilities of setting up operations in the UAE's free zones.
NASSCOM chief Dewang Mehta said the organisation had been in talks with the UAE government on the proposed software technology park in the UAE.
"We do see the benefits of setting up such a facility in the UAE. But have not yet taken any decision... It may be set up by Indian firms, but the project will be locally owned", he said.
Mehta said India's software exports rose to $2.7 billion in 1998-99. The domestic market is around $1.3 billion, he added.
He said India's software and services exports would grow to about $50 billion by 2008.
Mehta said India has an 18 per cent share of the software and services market in the world, but its share of the products and packages segment is less than 1 per cent.
Indian companies are now paying increasing attention to this segment, especially after the recent liberalisation of regulations, he added.
"We are looking at new markets like Africa and other regions and are now getting into products and packages, rather than only providing solutions," he said.
Mehta said the Middle East currently accounts for only 2 per cent of India's total annual software exports.
"However, we see a potential which should be tapped," he said. Four master of computer applications courses in Arabic script would soon start in Madras, Aligarh, Hyderabad and Delhi, he announced.
Several well-known Indian IT companies are participating in the three-day event organised by the Indian Business Council, Dubai, in collaboration with the consulate-general of India and NASSCOM.
Apart from a two-day exhibition of the Indian IT sector's capabilities, the schedule also includes business seminars in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Among the participants are a delegation from the Technopark in Trivandrum, which has launched a major campaign to attract investment from this region.
Other Indian firms at the show include Tata Consultancy Services, Pentafour, Aptech, Congruent Software, DSQ Software, Online Solutions and Orient Information Technology.
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