President Bush spoke to young entrepreneurs today in Hyderabad's Indian School of Business, emphasizing the potential business benefits of globalization, while warning of the dangers of protectionism. Many U.S. small businesses have already embraced the idea of outsourcing to India. A study last year by Santa Clara University found that in 2004, India lead the world in outsourced IT revenue, totaling some $12 billion.
While the shift of jobs overseas continues to divide the American public politically, Bush pointed out that India's continued development also represents new opportunity for U.S. companies. "There's a 300-million-person market of middle-class citizens here in India and that if we can make a product they want, then it becomes -- at a reasonable price -- and then all of a sudden, people will be able to have a market here," Bush said.
Is Bush's silver-lining stance toward globalization too optimistic? As the economies of international competitors are bolstered by outsourced high-tech jobs, traditional low-tech entrepreneurial markets could very well open up in countries like India. It remains to be seen, though, what benefits or services American entrepreneurs could offer an increasingly educated and wealthy Indian society. Just as importantly, traditional entrepreneurial efforts overseas would do little to counteract America's high-tech brain drain.