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Moving ahead of the rest

weekly roundup If you had to name the two most popular outsourcing destinations in Asia, chances are China and India would immediately spring to mind. Now, how about the third most popular country for offshoring?
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Written by Vivian Yeo on
weekly roundup If you had to name the two most popular outsourcing destinations in Asia, chances are China and India would immediately spring to mind. Now, how about the third most popular country for offshoring? Whether the eventual answer is Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand or some emerging market like Vietnam, I'm quite sure you took a little longer to name the second runner-up. It seems difficult for any country in the region, or the world for that matter, to pose a credible challenge to the duo. It's hard to match up to China because of its sheer market size and large resources. As for India, research company Everest has predicted that the country will maintain its low-cost advantage in the offshore outsourcing market for at least another 30 years. The two countries, however, cannot rest on their laurels, as there are many others that are eyeing opportunities to dethrone them. Outsourcing Malaysia, a nonprofit organization that aims to promote Malaysia as a one-stop center for outsourcing providers, this week announced that it is expecting to win a number of mega sourcing deals over the next few months. Rob Cayzer, co-chairman of Outsourcing Malaysia, noted that the country "is becoming an attractive offshore option for many multinationals because the cost escalation in countries such as India, China and the Philippines, is now much higher than [that in] Malaysia".
In fact, he noted that Malaysia is currently ranked among the top three most competitive locations for offshore services. This is reminiscent of a 2004 study, which ranked the country as the third most attractive destination--after India and China--for shared services and outsourcing. Indeed, the Malaysian government has been making a number of moves to beef up its ICT capabilities in recent months. Outsourcing Malaysia was launched in May at the 15th World Congress on Information Technology held in Austin, Texas. At the same meeting, Malaysian premier Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi also unveiled an initiative known as the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber-Terrorism (IMPACT), which includes the setting up of a global emergency response center to monitor cyber threats. Badawi's government also launched a new IT center in Johor, aimed at attracting MNCs and local companies to set up operations in the state. The question now is: Will its investments pay off? In other news this week, find out why Nortel has gone soft, and how the Business Software Alliance is taking a stance on educating consumers on safe cyber usage. Also, learn how Korea and Vietnam have further warmed up to open source, while Linux gets the cold shoulder in Norway.

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