Move over, China and India?

weekly roundup If the news this week is anything to go by, it's not a question of whether you should outsource; it's where you should outsource to.China and India are arguably the current hot favorites in the outsourcing race.

weekly roundup If the news this week is anything to go by, it's not a question of whether you should outsource; it's where you should outsource to.

China and India are arguably the current hot favorites in the outsourcing race. The two, being the world's most populous nations, have an abundance of human resources to meet the demands of enterprises all over the world.

EDS announced in June it would double its headcount in China by end 2007, while Sony and HSBC are but just some of the companies that have recently picked India as their choice of location for offshore outsourcing.

What separates the two countries, really? Other than taking to the English language with greater ease, the Indian workforce is an increasingly younger lot than their Chinese counterparts, or those from any other important outsourcing locations, for that matter.

Value-add may be another factor the Indians take pride in. As a colleague heard on a radio program a few weeks back, an undergraduate from India, when asked about the difference between the two countries, gave this analogy: If China is the producer of shirts, then India must be the supplier of the embroidery on the shirts.

But even before India and China can make a lasting impression, market analysts are furiously predicting new outsourcing darlings of the world.

McKinsey & Co. predicts that by 2008, the business process outsourcing activity in Eastern Europe will triple. South Africa is also keen to market itself as an offshore outsourcing destination, with the government offering tax breaks and training grants.

With the addition of more low-cost destinations, perhaps it's no longer a question of China or India, but where would your money serve you best?

In other news this week, find out what's going to be hot in 2007, and what's not. Read also why you might not want to include a pair of Nike sneakers that can sync with your iPod on your wish list for Christmas, while Malaysian car owners have something to look forward to in the coming year.