Just a quick follow up to my recent post on German outsourcing. I fear the issue rather got lost in an interesting, if secondary, topic in the comments section. One reader was, however kind enought to draw this article to my attention.
The German firm Siemens will move most of the 15,000 software programming jobs from its offices in the United States and Western Europe to India, China and Eastern Europe, a company official said Monday.
“Siemens has recognized that a huge amount of software development activity needs to be moved from high-cost countries to low-cost countries,” said Anil R. Laud, managing director of Siemens Information Systems, the group’s information technology subsidiary in India.
Now this dates from mid February so it would appear that there was fire to the smoke, even if it may have expediently been extinguished. I repeat: this reality is inevitably going to arrive on our doorstep and we would do better have some more informed public discussion over some of the implications. In this regard I would again draw attention to one comment of Jean-Claude Trichet in the interview I cited yesterday.
there is the unfortunate phenomenon that public opinion very often discovers the problems at the moment they are tackled, when governments, parliaments and social partners carry out the structural reforms that are urgently needed. This late and brutal discovery could have a negative impact on confidence. Had the public been more aware of the underlying problems, the reforms, when decided upon and implemented, would have increased confidence. That is the reason why we believe that transparency, pedagogy and tireless explanations are an essential part of preparing structural reforms.
We have only recently seen in the Spanish context one way a public which felt it may have been kept systematically misinformed by its government can react. We would do well to learn from this. Globalisation is here, it is more potent than ever, and it won’t simply go away just because we choose to ignore it. I may have cause to disagree with Trichet about precisely which structural reforms I would like to see assertively advanced, but the point he is making is absolutely valid. Be warned.