India's Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on Thursday began a visit to Shanghai, China's economic powerhouse, saying the two countries could combine their strengths in information technology instead of competing.
Vajpayee, making a landmark trip to China, told a business meeting in Shanghai that the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 offered a chance for Indian and Chinese tech firms to work together -- despite linguistic and cultural barriers.
|Vajpayee (L) to IT firms of|
two countries: Join hands
He said the two governments could help set the ground rules for a partnership that might simplify a now roundabout contract execution process.
Companies from developed countries which won software contracts for major events such as the Olympics in the past sub-contracted them to Indian firms, he said.
"Indian and Chinese firms could instead join up to provide state-of-the-art solutions at cost-effective prices, thereby also cutting out the middlemen," Vajpayee told a conference.
“It is self-evident that our respective core competence in hardware and software provides a natural ground for an effective alliance in the IT industry," he added.
Vajpayee noted that China was one of the world's leaders in the manufacture of computer hardware, while India's software industry had become a well-known success story.
His comments echoed those of former Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji during a visit to India in 2002 when he approved a request by software giant Infosys Technologies to set up a development centre in Shanghai.
More than a year later, that plan remains wrapped in red tape as Indian software firms battle language, culture and regulators to gain a foothold in China.
Still, ties between India and China, the world's two most populous nations, have warmed and they pledged this week to move forward with negotiations to settle a lingering border dispute and accelerate trade.