[OPE] UNCTAD Information Economy Report 2009

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@telfort.nl>
Date: Tue Nov 10 2009 - 13:20:35 EST

The Information Economy Report 2009: Trends and Outlook in Turbulent Times
is the fourth in a series published by the United Nations Conference on
Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The report is one of the few publications to
monitor global trends in information and communication technologies (ICTs)
as they affect developing countries. It serves as a valuable reference for
policymakers in those nations. It gives special attention to the impact of
the global financial crisis on ICTs.


  a.. Global and regional trends in the diffusion of ICTs such as fixed and
mobile telecommunications, Internet, and broadband
  b.. Ranking of the most dynamic economies in terms of increased ICT
connectivity between 2003 and 2008
  c.. Monitoring of the "digital divide"
  d.. Survey of national statistical offices on the use of ICT in the
business sector
  e.. A review of the changing patterns in the trade of ICT goods
  f.. A mapping of the new geography in the offshoring of IT and ICT-enabled
  g.. Policy recommendations on how developing countries can reap greater
benefits from ICT
  h.. A statistical annex with global ICT data.
The Information Economy Report 2009 (IER 2009) offers a fresh assessment of
the diffusion of key ICT applications between 2003 and 2008. While fixed
telephone subscriptions are now in slight decline, mobile and Internet use
continues to expand rapidly in most countries and regions. At the same time,
there is a widening gap between high-income and low-income countries in
broadband connectivity. Broadband penetration is now eight times higher in
developed than in developing countries. The report explores policy options
for countries seeking to improve broadband connectivity.

The IER 2009 includes a chapter on the use of ICTs in the business sector.
Drawing on unique data, it examines how ICT use differs both between and
within countries, highlighting the rural-urban divide as well as that
between large and small companies. The report recommends that governments in
developing countries give more attention to ICT uptake and use by small- and
medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as they are lagging behind larger firms.
And it discusses those aspects of ICT where government intervention can make
a difference.

A third chapter is devoted to the impact of the financial crisis on ICT
trade. While a growing share of exports of ICT goods and services is
accounted for by developing economies, especially in Asia, the crisis has
affected goods and services quite differently. ICT goods are among the
categories of trade most negatively affected by the recession, while IT and
ICT-related services appear to be among the most resilient. A statistical
annex to the report provides data on ICT infrastructure, ICT use, and ICT
trade for up to 200 economies. A PDF version of the IER 2009 and its
statistical annex are downloadable from the UNCTAD website
(www.unctad.org/ier) from 23 October 2009.


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