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Universidad Central de Informatica (UCI)
DALLAS -- At the Gartner Outsourcing Summit here last week, representatives from countries like China, South Africa, Brazil, the Czech Republic and, of course, India set up shop on the trade show floor. And many other nations may have a presence in the future if they can successfully develop offshore outsourcing industries.

Gartner estimates that about 60 countries are involved in outsourced IT at some level. The firm divides them into several categories: market leaders, such as India, China, Argentina and Russia; active participants, which include nations such as Vietnam, Egypt and Chile; and countries that are just taking preliminary steps to develop offshoring capabilities.

Among the new countries added to Gartners list of potential offshore providers this year are Algeria, Bahrain, Kenya, Madagascar, Malta, Moldova, Saudi Arabia and Uganda. Its a fluid list " countries removed for a lack of progress include El Salvador, South Korea, Panama, Peru and Taiwan. Puerto Rico was also scratched.

One survivor on the list is Cuba. Gartner analyst Frances Karamouzis said the Cuba, which has a population of about 11 million people, is "an interesting prospect" because of its educational programs in math and computer science.

Eric Driggs, a research associate at the University of Miamis Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, said in a telephone interview that Cuba offers an educated population and university-level IT training. It also has youth centers that provide basic computer training. "You are definitely seeing a buildup of human capital to make [offshore services] possible," Driggs said.

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