HCM City and Hanoi have held their rankings among the top 100 IT outsourcing cities of the world last year, says international market researcher Tholons.

HCM City slipped one position from 2010 while Hanoi kept its place, Tholons said.

In 2009 the two cities dropped from fifth to tenth, losing their worldwide edge.

Tholons forecasts, however, that Vietnam will emerge as one of the major providers of information technology services outsourcing in Southeast Asia, and could replace China and India .

The global adviser said despite experiencing a stagnant growth rate, HCM City has a chance to boost its attractiveness of software outsourcing.

According to the Vietnam Software Association, HCM City and Hanoi accounted for 90 percent of the country's software outsourcing revenue in the last several years.

Low labour costs, improved business environment and a skilled workforce were the main factors attracting leading technology firms such as Intel, IBM and Siemens to set up distribution centres in Vietnam , the association said.

The salary for Business Processing Outsourcing personnel in Vietnam was about 75 percent lower than Chinese major cities such as Beijing , Shanghai and Dalien.

Meanwhile, thanks to a long period of French rule, Vietnam has an advantage in the French language, which can attract French firms such as ESI, Mega International, Sysun and Worketer. Some have already visited HCM City and Hanoi to find business opportunities.

Tholons said India is the top outsourcing nation with six cities among the top 10. They are Bangalore , Mumbai, Delhi , Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune.-VNA