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SAP to add 500 software jobs in India

Plans for this year also point to the German company hiring 500 more workers in the United States, where sales are on an upswing.

Software maker SAP plans to hire 500 programmers in India this year, expanding its development staff in that country to 1,500 people.

SAP spokesman Bill Wohl confirmed the German company's hiring plans on Friday, after a report about it appeared this week in a German newspaper.

The company, which employs close to 30,000 people worldwide, will hire 1,500 more people this year, with India absorbing a third of the new positions, Wohl said. SAP also plans to add 500 jobs in the United States, where the company recently reported a 45 percent jump in first-quarter software sales. The new U.S. positions will be concentrated in the area of sales and customer support.

SAP opened its research and development center in Bangalore, India, in 1998 and said last year that it would spend $120 million on expanding there. It is also adding staff at a new development lab in Shanghai, China.

The vast majority of SAP's software engineers still work out of the company's headquarters in Walldorf, Germany. SAP hasn't reduced its staff there as a result of the expansion into Asia--and doesn't plan to, Wohl said.

Wohl said the growth in India "makes good business sense," because the salaries of computer programmers are lower there, and India is an emerging market for the company, which makes application software to automate corporate accounting, human resources and manufacturing.

According to its Web site, SAP's Bangalore lab develops Web portal software, Web services technology and applications for customer service and sales.