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ICT's impact on global trade greater than economic share: WITSA

Veronica C. Silva | Dec. 18, 2009
ICT tools bring new dimension to movements of other industries

MANILA, 18 DECEMBER 2009 ICT is estimated to contribute one-fifth to the aggregate global exports in 2009, but the sector's overall impact on global trade is seen to surpass its economic share.

With global trade expected to hit US$19.5 trillion this year, World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) chairman Dato' Dan E. Khoo bets on ICT as an essential tool to revitalise cross-border trade and revive the world economy.

In a speech at the recent Asia-Pacific Digital Innovation Summit (APDIS 2009) in Melbourne, Australia, Khoo said: As a horizontal tool, ICT is an enabler of growth and development for all other industries that collectively contribute to the other 80 per cent of global trade.

This is despite the prediction of technology research firm Gartner that global ICT spending will dip four per cent in 2009. WITSA noted that spending already reached US$3.8 trillion in 2008.


ICT tools such as e-commerce, mobile commerce, Web portals, business matching and customer relationship management systems are bringing a whole new dimension to how other industries operate, do business and reach out to markets, added Khoo.

For it is ubiquitous in any and every industry, from traditional sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, medical and education to new ones like biotechnology and green tech, the WITSA chairman said, describing the presence of ICT.

At the opening ceremony of the Global Public Policy Summit (GPPS 2009) in Bermuda last November 2009, Khoo stressed that people must exert their influence on their respective governments about the benefits of building out the ICT infrastructure through pro-competitive market policies and sound investments.

Following the same line of thought in APDIS 2009, Khoo cautioned governments bent on carrying out protectionist measures to reduce unemployment as well as current account and trade deficits. On the contrary, he said such moves could even hinder global economy recovery.


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