The former Soviet Union, which was a foe of the U.S. and Western Europe during the Cold War, is proving to be an increasingly friendly outsourcing destination as the economy heats up.
One area that could benefit is Eastern Europe. HP has already opened business centers in Bucharest, Sofia and Bratislava. Indian BPO providers and U.S. firms like Accenture are recruiting in the region, attracted by a workforce with fluency in multiple languages and skills in IT, economics and finance.
Arkadiy Dobkin, CEO of Eastern European outsourcing provider EPAM Systems, in a recent interview with IT Business Edge, said that the "Soviet heritage" of a strong engineering education produces 60,000 specialists a year in Russia alone.
Though Eastern European governments were not as quick as their counterparts in regions like India to recognize the economic benefits that outsourcing could provide, Dobkin said that countries like Belarus, Russia and Ukraine are now providing economic incentives to encourage outsourcing.
The result? Russia's IT export industry has doubled over the past two years to reach $1 billion, and Dobkin said the market is on target for 30 percent growth in 2006.