Bill Gates Warns Japanese, U.S. Children Losing Out In Brain Drain

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, on June 29, said declining interest among Japanese and American children in science and technology was a concern which could weaken the world's top two economies. By contrast, emerging economies China and India have been improving their competitive edges in the global market by producing young engineers Gates said.

Japanese and U.S. firms should not simply outsource work to foreign firms because doing so would cause a brain drain of their domestic workforces, Gates said. "If you rely too much on the people in other countries and other companies, in a sense that's your brain and you are outsourcing your brain," Gates said.

He said Japan and the U.S. "definitely have to do something" to encourage students to study science and help them become IT (information technology) workers.

Such a move should help the countries ensure continued economic growth in the increasingly competitive world. "... if we are not able to get the brightest students to energetically go into those courses to get the right type of training, that means our economies would not get as much the share increase in the richness and improvement than we ought to," Gates said.

Microsoft said on June 29 that it would enhance joint research with Japanese universities, launching a new institute directed by a robot technology expert Katsushi Ikeuchi at the University of Tokyo.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2005

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