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Norway for outsourcing IT work with India

Norway is keen to outsource information technology related work from India, particularly Bangalore, Norwegian prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, said on Monday. "You can sit in Bangalore and develop work for Norwegian companies in Norway. We are going to do more work in India, particularly Bangalore", Stoltenberg told journalists after delivering the key note address at the first ever India-Norway IT business meet here. Stating that while IT professionals from India are welcome in Norway, he, said the focus was not, however, to bring such experts but to outsource work from India. We believe, IT should eliminate the problems of distance, he said. Giving an example, Stoltenberg said Norwegian tax authorities were in Bangalore to buy software assistance and to get it work done regarding tax collection exercise in Norway. Earlier, addressing the meet, he said his government had unveiled an ENorway plan aimed at making the public sector more efficient, enhancing the pace of development and encouraging extensive use of IT, among others. India and Bangalore have come a long way in it. We have to learn a lot from you, he said, adding, Norway was keen to expand relations with India, one of the fastest growing economies of the world. It is an important factor (of that relationship). It has the potential for growth between India and Norway, he said. Represenatatives from 30 Norwegian ICT companies are attending the meet, organised by Nasscom in association with Norwegian Trade Council. According to Nasscom (National Association of Softwareand Service Companies), Indian IT exports to Norway currently amount to US $ 10 million. This figure, is expected to increase to US $ 100 million in 2004 and reach 250 million in 2008. Nasscom's executive council member, Som Mittal, in his address said in 2000-01, Indian exports to Europe fetched revenues of over US $ 1.4 billion, a 63 per cent increase over the previous year's figure. Karnataka's minister for large and medium industries, R V Deshpande, said software exports from Karnataka crossed US $ two billion in 2000-01, from a mere US $ four million in 1991-92. Bangalore had now 928 companies in it services, he said, adding, in the last one decade, the growth in the sector had been consistent - more than 40 per cent annually. Asserting that the meltdown in the US would not affect companies based in Karnataka, he said American companies would now look more towards India given its cost advantage.