EU should take advantage of nearshore IT outsourcing

30 Apr 2004

Developed Western European nations should take advantage of nearshore IT outsourcing opportunities in eastern countries like the Ukraine and Belarus, a leading expert on European enlargement told Irish IT executives this week.

Hans-Juergen Zahorka, a former member of the European Parliament, works with the Stuggart based LIBERTAS European Institute, a European economy think-tank. He teaches European Affairs at MBA schools and universities of applied science in Germany, Switzerland, Poland and Belarus. As a noted observer of EU policy, he has consulted widely on EU enlargement.

As a keynote speaker at this week’s ICT Expo in Dublin’s RDS, Zahorka said that European nations should accept IT outsourcing as a business reality, forget thinking of Central and Eastern European countries as a threat and take advantage of opportunities in these countries. “A senior, highly skilled IT worker costs only €5 an hour in the Ukraine. They are hungry for this work and are very professional,” he urged.

“At present a lot of focus is on India and Malaysia for low cost IT outsourcing. It is very popular as a business strategy. But remember it can be done much closer,” he said.

Zahorka also urged developed countries like Ireland to partake more in R&D and technology transfer with the accession states, citing the example of Irish tax consultants working with entrant countries. “There’s a lot of work to be done in the areas of e-procurement and e-government in these countries,” Zahorka urged.

By John Kennedy