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Nasscom estimates $12 b software exports this year

Our Bureau

Mumbai , Jan. 21

PROJECTING a 26-28 per cent growth in software and services exports in 2004, the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) is keen to explore new markets in East Asia - - Japan, Taiwan and China.

"We have already taken delegations to these three countries and we see significant potential for the Indian industry. We want to promote the Brand India and India Inside concept actively in these markets," Mr Kiran Karnik, Nasscom President, told press persons here on Wednesday.

Striking an optimistic note on the growth of the IT software and service industry, he said Nasscom expected the total revenue of this industry to reach $15.5 billion (Rs 70,000 crore) in 2004, as against $12 billion (Rs 58,000 crore) in 2003. While the ITES-BPO segment is projected to register a growth of 54 per cent with a revenue of $3.6 billion, the IT services, products and technology services are projected to grow by 17 per cent to notch up a revenue of over $8.4 billion.

Outlining Nasscom's principal agenda for the year, Mr Karnik said special thrust would be laid on raising issues central to the Indian information and communications technology industry from the perspective of the new WTO, GATS, global economic and security norms. In fact, Nasscom has set up a committee to interact with the Government on the new proposals that are pouring in from different nations under the WTO regime.

Nasscom also proposes to create a blueprint to enable India to move up the value chain in ICT services, including ITES-BPO.

Nasscom 2004: On the Nasscom 2004 event, which begins in Mumbai on February 3, Mr Karnik said it would be India's first hi-tech conference to go beyond technology, with leading thinkers, analysts, bankers, politicians and bureaucrats from the US, the UK and Asia-Pacific countries scheduled to debate the various implications of the growth of the hi-tech industry in the global economy. Over a 100 well-known names from the international IT, business and political communities will address the 30 sessions spread over the three-day event. Nasscom 2004 will also have for the first time a CEO Conclave and the Country Forums.

The event will have ITES-BPO conclave, which would bring together various players and decision makers to debate on the maturing BPO industry. "It will address key issues like process transition, quality, contract management and the security challenges to the BPO businesses in India'.

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