Promoting IT Enabled Services

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Trade in services enabled by information and communication technologies could be an engine of growth for many developing countries looking to diversify from commoditiesbased economies. For this trade policy to be successful governments must establish effective policies and develop the correct regulatory framework, infrastructure and human capital.

This handbook explains the key issues from the viewpoints of the regulator, the investor, the policymaker and the donor. It provides detailed analysis of the Mauritian experience, which holds useful lessons for small states in particular. It will help policymakers to learn directly from other countries' experience of developing IT enabled services and will assist private sector organisations to understand how governments frame their policies.



South Africa

Technological advances have accelerated possibilities for services trade across borders and have led to more cross-border trade in many services. A number of services that previously could only be provided through physical proximity between the consumer and the supplier can now be traded via the internet or other networks. This includes, for example, e-banking, on-line computer and IT services, many forms of professional and consultancy services, and on-line sales of hotel reservations, airfare and even goods. In addition, many companies can now sub-contract or ‘outsource’ activities they once performed in-house. Business process outsourcing (BPO) has created many opportunities, not least for developing countries, and has also opened doors to trade for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Outsourced activities are often fairly low-skill oriented, but increasingly knowledge intensive activities, such as research and development and financial advisory services, are also outsourced.


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