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Outsourcing to Malaysia or Singapore?

No mention has been made so far of either Malaysia or Singapore as potential targets for outsourcing. Experience thus far has proven that they (particularly Singapore) are highly productive, are very process and problem-solving orientated and have excellent communication skills; and, while those countries' salaries are not at the level of India's, they are roughly half the U.K.'s and have stable economies with low inflation. Are there any studies into these countries? Many thanks.

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Singapore has a great IT infrastructure and has been often used for a regional data center hub. However, the lure of the (twice or three times) cost savings in India, China, eastern Europe and the Philippines (over Singapore) makes business leaders consider those locations first. In addition, Singapore has a limited pool of programming talent. In fact many Singapore companies import workers from India, China or the Philippines or simply outsource it to sub-contractors there.

Malaysia's government is putting some effort into becoming an outsourcing location, but it has had a late start, has a limited pool and has neighbors with terrorist problems -- Indonesia, Philippines and so on. However, I do see Malaysia as an emerging outsourcing location. Additional information about the Malaysian outsourcing future can be found here.

This was first published in November 2004

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