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Trade liberalization and digital divide: An Analysis of the information technology agreement of WTO

  • K.J. Joseph

    ()

    (Centre for Development Studies)

  • Govinda Parayil

    (Centre for Development Studies)

This article reflects on the effectiveness of trade liberalization, as envisaged in the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) of the WTO, for promoting ICT use and production in developing countries. Based on empirical evidence on global exports of ITA goods, and the performance of different groups of ITA member countries and nonmember countries a case has been made for complementing trade liberalization with capacity building so that ITA becomes more attractive to developing countries as an additional strategy to bridge the digital divide. It has also been argued that substantial capabilities in ICT production and use have been developed over the years by select developing countries, which provide fresh opportunities for new ICT policy for social and economic development. Against this background the article makes the case for an e-South Framework Agreement that facilitates the harnessing of southern capabilities through building new system of ICT innovation, as a complement to ongoing North-South initiatives, inter alia involving trade liberalization along with capacity building to promote ICT use and production in developing countries.

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Paper provided by Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum, India in its series Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum Working Papers with number 381.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ind:cdswpp:381
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  1. Joseph, K.J., 2002. "Growth of ICT and ICT for Development: Realities of the Myths of the Indian Experience," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  2. Rouben Indjikain & Donald S. Siegel, 2004. "The Impact of Investment in IT on Economic Performance: Implications for Developing Countries," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0414, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
  3. Dibyendu S. Maiti, 2005. "Organisational morphology of rural industries in liberalised India: A study of West Bengal," Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum Working Papers 371, Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum, India.
  4. Sunil Mani, 2006. "Keeping Pace with Globalisation Innovation Capability in Korea's Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Working Papers id:745, eSocialSciences.
  5. Ernst, Dieter & Kim, Linsu, 2002. "Global production networks, knowledge diffusion, and local capability formation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1417-1429, December.
  6. Rudiger Dornbusch, 1992. "The Case for Trade Liberalization in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 69-85, Winter.
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