Digital economy

UNCTAD Expert Meeting: Using ICTs to Achieve Growth and Development


UNCTAD Expert Meeting: In support of the implementation and follow-up of WSIS: Using ICTs to achieve growth and development, jointly organized by UNCTAD, OECD and ILO
4-5 December 2006, Geneva, Palais des Nations

Organised in the framework of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) follow-up and implementation, this meeting showcased the impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on economic and social development and growth with a view to encourage action at the national, regional and global levels to implement the WSIS outcomes. It followed up on the outcomes of the WSIS Thematic Meeting on the “Economic and Social Impact of ICTs” held in Guatemala in January 2005.


  • To present and discuss the latest empirical evidence on the impact of ICTs on firm productivity and competitiveness, trade, employment and, as a result, accelerated economic growth, in particular in developing countries.
  • To contribute to the debate on the role of ICTs for poverty reduction, in the context of the follow-up to the World Summit held in New York in September 2005.
  • To provide policy makers with hard facts about the benefits of ICTs for economic development, to better target national and global policy formulation.
  • To provide inputs to the WTO debate on e-commerce and the impact of ICTs on multilateral trade agreements.
  • To mainstream gender issues into the discussion.
  • To consider the impact of ICTs on business sectors, such as trade finance.
  • To provide a basis for inputs to the Information Economy Report 2007.

Who attended
Experts from both developed and developing countries, representatives of governments, the civil society, the academia and the private sector involved in the knowledge-based economy research and policy making.

Issues addressed

  • Advancing the information economy
    • How can the discussion on ICTs as enablers for growth and development help in pro-development policy making at the national and international level?
  • Impact of ICTs on productivity and growth
    • What is the magnitude of ICTs impact on GDP growth? This session will present the latest findings from academic research, both in developed and developing countries, including firm-level surveys.
  • Impact of ICTs on business sectors
    • How does the use of ICTs impact on industry and firm performance? This session will present research findings and enterprise case studies covering various economic sectors, including trade finance.
  • ICTs and international trade in goods and services
    • How can developing countries take advantage of the link between ICTs and international trade flows? This session will identify export sectors where ICTs have a big impact and where developing countries have comparative advantage. It will also shed light on the implications that ICT-enabled trade has on multilateral trade negotiations and the resumed discussions on e-commerce in the WTO.
  • Impact of ICTs on labour markets and employment
    • How do ICTs influence on labour markets? This session will analyse the sectoral shifts related to the production and employment in manufacturing and business services and the evolution of outsourcing services. It will also discuss the implications of ICTs on the geographical movement of jobs and workers and the opportunities it provides for the developing world.

The agenda can be downloaded here.

Documents and further information can be found on the UNCTAD website.



Related Documents