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China: Global IT Outsourcing Meet Boosts Industry
Source: shanghaidaily.com
Source Date: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Focus: E-Procurement
Country: China
Created: Nov 01, 2012

SHANGHAI'S annual global IT outsourcing forum opens on Thursday in the latest move by the city to develop its information technology industry.

The outsourcing business, which boosts software exports and IT industry development, is an important part of Shanghai's plan to transform its economic structure to become more service-oriented. IT outsourcing refers to contracting business processes, such as software development, data management and systems maintenance, to third-party contractors.

"Software outsourcing has become a strategic industry of China with double-digit annual revenue growth," said Zhao Zhifan, director of the Software Offshore Business Union of Shanghai. "Chinese firms have gained more and more influence in the global IT industry."

The 10th Global IT Outsourcing Forum 2012 runs through Friday at the Longemont Shanghai in Changning District. Its theme is "An Innovation-driven Future and Development through Cooperation." The focus is the development of software technology and information services.

Topics include policies favoring innovation and financial support, strategies for sustainable development of software professionals, development in the Yangtze River Delta region's software industry, and joint development of new-generation information technology.

In 2011, Shanghai software industry generated 176.6 billion yuan (US$27.9 billion) in revenue, a 21 percent growth compared to the previous year. The IT services industry, comprising mainly of the software sector, accounted for 5.8 percent of Shanghai's total GDP, compared with around 5 percent several years ago.

Software exports reached US$1.57 billion in 2011, a 41.4 percent annual increase. Of the total exports, information technology outsourcing (ITO) accounted for 98 percent, according to the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce.

The US and Japan are still major software export destinations, followed by Singapore, France and Ireland.

Local firms have upgraded service and technologies to improve their competitiveness and establish "Shanghai Design" as a software brand, Zhao said.

IT outsourcing focus
Both the government and industry organizations have paid more attention to IT outsourcing, especially at a time when the global economic environment is uncertain.

The event is supported by the Ministry of Commerce and the Shanghai government, the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce and the Shanghai Municipal Economic and Information Technology Development Commission.

The forum is expected to be a win-win practical and professional platform featuring policy interpretation, panel discussion and project match-making. It will promote better understanding of global industry trends, introduce authoritative forecasts, generate insightful points of view, and interpret the latest policies. Events will include speeches, panel discussions and specific project match-making.

The speakers and participants will include senior officials from the central government, Shanghai government and relevant authorities, executives from multinational companies and institutions and officials from local firms.

Confirmed speakers to date represent the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Tongji University, US-based Yell Group, Japan-based NTT DATA, Russia-based Firstline Software and Australia-based Mikrobe P/L.

Officials of local and Chinese firms are expected to attend.

By the end of 2011, 317 firms in Shanghai exported software and services to overseas markets, according to the Shanghai commerce commission.
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