Veritas follows business eastwards

Renault F1 technical partner, Veritas, has opened an office in Moscow and is looking to expand further into Asia, reports BusinessWeek Online. Its Eastern emphasis is understandable in light of projected growth in these markets, and is reflected by an upsurge of interest in leisure activities, such as motorsport, in the region.

Veritas follows business eastwards

Market observers generally agree that the rising tide of economic development in Asia is overcoming the downward tug from stagnating first world economies. In the troubled area of technology, for example, there are few signs of the underperformance that has crippled the US, Japanese and Western European markets.

According to US tech tracker International Data Corp., technology spending in Russia will grow 12 percent in 2003 (to $5.1bn) and 13 percent in Poland (to $3.5bn). China, India, and South Korea also expect low double-digit growth this year, compared to a projected 4.4 percent rise in the US.

Reasons for this upbeat outlook on technology vary. In Russia, oil money and economic growth are finally working out. In China, by the end of this year - and for the first time ever - there will be a full complement of global carmakers competing head-on in a growing consumer market. In India, the software and outsourcing markets have boomed, creating 160,000 jobs (a 25 percent increase) in the last year.

But is not all plain sailing for companies looking to invest in Asia. Homegrown industrial talent, particularly down the technological food chain is doing very nicely, thank you. Often because western companies just don't have the cultural background to engage with the markets effectively. But there are ways around this. One of the main reasons Big Blue bought tech consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2002 is thought to be its 300 consultants on the ground in China.

So if Veritas has got it right, the future expansion strategy for many motorsport/technology business might well be described as "Go East, young man!" But there probably is still time to work on your Mandarin.

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