Friday, July 07, 2006

Skilled use of fingers: low-end, labour-intensive manufacturing

India should tread Chinese path: MIT Prof • Tap Women For Growth
Amiti Sen NEW DELHI The Economic Times Friday, 07 July, 2006
INDIA can replicate the Chinese growth experience by educating women and introducing flexible labour laws rather than building highways and roads. According to a China expert Yasheng Huang from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), India’s growth, like China’s, has to be driven by the manufacturing sector. “In India, there is a need for low-end, labour-intensive manufacturing units. It could be achieved if India eases labour laws and invests more in education, especially of women,” he said.
Pointing out that good infrastructure was a sign of prosperity and not a tool for achieving it, Prof Huang said that India could achieve sustainable growth only by investing in the social sector. “About two decades back, India’s roads and railways was much better than China. China has now shot ahead because it made its base strong by investing in education and health,” he said.
Speaking to ET, Prof Huang said that in countries with strong manufacturing bases like China, Japan and South Korea, women out-numbered men by a strong margin in production units. “Women are generally seen to be more productive than men in activities requiring skilled use of fingers. India needs to use its women workforce to its full potential,” he said.

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