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Technological Change

Enhancing the Benefits

image of Technological Change
‘We have stressed the great power and speed of technological change, especially that originating from the emerging technologies. The inevitability of technological change does not however mean that societies, and specifically governments, need to adopt a passive or deterministic attitude towards it. There are options in terms of the speed and direction of technological change; policy choices to be made; socially beneficial technologies which can be actively promoted; technologies with negative impacts which can be discouraged or adapted... Different societies will vary enormously in the technological capacity they can realise because of differences of size, income levels and stage of development; but even the smallest and poorest countries need some capacity to make choices and to adapt technology to local conditions.’ - From the Report.



‘Among policy makers in developing countries, emerging technologies are often regarded with apprehension. This is induced by a sense of impotence; also by a feeling that what is appropriate in richer countries may not be so in poor ones. These fears are understandable. But the Group’s Report gives abundant evidence that where technology is directed, and adapted, to meet the needs of low-income groups, it can be a powerful force for good, especially in agriculture and rural development, where in many forms it could be even directly employment-generating... Because of technology, human societies have it in their power to raise living standards worldwide and thus eradicate mass poverty and hunger.’ - From the Foreword by the Commonwealth Secretary-General.



This publication is comprised of two volumes.

English

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Information Technology and the Service Sector

Services are the most important single sector of the economy in both developed and developing countries, and by 1980 their share of GDP had reached almost 60 per cent in developed market economy countries and 45 per cent in developing countries; even in low-income countries services contributed 40 per cent of GDP. In all categories of country the proportion is an increasing one. The sector accounts for an even larger share of employment in many countries (70 per cent in the United States, for example, compared to 64 per cent of GDP) and for the majority of new jobs created in the last couple of decades (over 80 per cent of those created in Canada, for example, during the ten years to 1979).

English

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