‘Wen: China, India can lead world in IT’
(AFP Times | April 12, 2005)
Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao yesterday toured India's
hi-tech capital and called for closer co-operation to launch the
"Asian century" of information technology.
India's software skills combined with China's dominance
in hardware can trigger a tectonic shift in the global technological
landscape, Wen said at the offices of Tata Consultancy Services,
the country's biggest provider of software development and
"Co-operation is just like two pagodas. One hardware and
one software. Combined we can take the leadership position in the
world," said Wen, who arrived in Bangalore on Saturday from
Sri Lanka on a tour of South Asian nations.
He visited the Bangalore offices of Huawei Technologies,
China's largest telecoms maker which employs 800 Indian and
30 Chinese and plans to invest $100mn in the country.
Wen also toured the Indian Space Research Organsaition (ISRO)
and the Indian Institute of Science and Technology in Bangalore,
where a Tibetan protester shouted anti-China slogans and tossed
down pamphlets from a tower that he had scaled.
The protester — identified by police as Tenzin Tsundue,
general secretary of the Friends of Tibet — surprised police
when he emerged from the tower of the Victorian-era building after
Tsundue had threatened protests against Chinese rule in Tibet before
Wen's visit, even though Bangalore police refused a permit
to hold demonstrations.
India has played host to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama
and the Tibetan government-in-exile since he fled Tibet in 1959
after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.
Wen was inside the research centre addressing top Indian scientists
during the incident, police and witness said. He left for New Delhi
His first official meeting in New Delhi yesterday was with the
chief of the ruling Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi.
A meeting with External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh scheduled
for yesterday evening has been postponed to today.
Wen will also hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today
to discuss a possible free trade agreement and a long-running border
dispute that led to a brief war in 1962.
China, the world's fastest-growing major economy, is a
manufacturing hub for mobile phones, textiles, cars and industrial
equipment and is eyeing co-operation with India to expand its access
"If India and China co-operate in the information technology
industry we will be able to lead the world technology industry and
when that particular day comes it will signify the coming of the
Asian century of the IT industry," Wen said.
India's software sector contributes 4% to the country's
gross domestic product and grew 43% during the fiscal year to March
2004. The industry is expected to earn $75bn by 2008.
The technology sector has added $45bn to India's foreign
exchange reserves since 1998 and employs 850,000 people, according
to government figures.
Wen noted that India's growth in software mirrors
China's efforts in manufacturing.
"Just a few years ago we used to produce 5mn cellphones
annually and now we are producing more than 100mn phones. Now China
has more than 500mn phones of which 50% are fixed lines and 50%
are mobile phones," he said.
S Ramadorai, chief executive of Tata Consultancy Services, said
his company was exploring opportunities for collaboration in the
"India is a leader in software and China in hardware. There
are a number of things we can learn from each other. China has
a strong domestic IT industry and we are exploring possibilities
(of co-operation)," Ramadorai said.
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