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India, ASEAN indispensable IT producers, consumers: Lamy

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - 18:07

New Delhi: India and China have turned into "indispensable" IT producers and users in the global value chain and have seen considerable rise in investments in the technology sector, top WTO official has said.

"Although developed countries still account for a large share of the investment and consumption of IT products, in recent years investment in this sector has increased considerably in some emerging economies such as China, India and ASEAN countries," the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director General Pascal Lamy has said in Geneva.

During the welcome address on the 15th anniversary of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) yesterday, Lamy noted efforts taken by ITA signatories like India by providing access to affordable IT equipment.

"Access to affordable IT equipment has been instrumental in enabling India to become a powerhouse in consulting services and software development," he said.

ITA has "oiled" these economies through increasing productivity of traditional industries, creating brand new business sectors and generating new jobs, Lamy added.

ITA is an agreement enforced by the WTO in 1996. The aim of the treaty is to reduce all taxes and tariffs on IT items to zero. There are over 45 signatory countries which include the US, China, Thailand and Vietnam.

Lamy said affordable access to information technology products has also contributed to trade facilitation and has helped nations better integrate into global production chains.

"These countries have now turned into indispensable producers and consumers in global value chains of IT products. All these figures are a useful reminder that trade opening can be truly win-win," the Director General said.

For instance, in southern India, mobile phones have helped fishermen address information asymmetries with traders and consumers.

He cited that "better market coordination has resulted in increased profits for the fishermen, lower fish prices for poor consumers, as well as a reduction in wastage of fish."


First Published: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - 18:07
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