ICTs and globalisation: China and India
In the first session, presentations were given on recent trends in offshoring (or global sourcing), its drivers, and the challenges and opportunities it creates. Particular attention was paid to the potential for developing countries to move up the value chain as well as to the employment aspects of global sourcing. The second session provided company perspectives on the sourcing of global ICT-enabled services, the business imperatives and motivations of firms that offshore activities, the strategic and local factors that determine the type of activities to be offshored and their location, and the wider benefits to consumers through lower prices of provided services. The third session brought all speakers and the audience together to discuss both the opportunities for growth created by global sourcing in home and host economies and potential policy challenges such as the implications for the location of innovation and the impact on employment.
Brief introduction and context for the panel; background material OECD Information Technology Outlook 2006, Chapters 2-4 and Chapter 6 (OECD, Paris).
1) New developments and perspectives
This session set the scene by analysing recent developments in ICT manufacturing and services and in ICT-enabled services activities, how the value chains in these sectors are being restructured and begin to discuss some implications, including the development of new manufacturing and services activities and the potential for developing countries to move up the value chain.
, Roland Berger Professor of Business and Technology, INSEAD
, Senior Manager, National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM)
, Consultant, International Trade and Services Policy (ITSP)
, General Secretary, Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC)
2) Firm strategies and geographical location: OECD, Chinese and Indian firms
This session focussed particularly on how firms are globalising their activities and are being affected by ICT sector and ICT-enabled globalisation, both directly in terms of their own activities, and more broadly as part of structural change related to ICT and ICT-enabled globalisation.
3) Panel discussion with all speakers and delegates: Implications for business and government
These developments present opportunities for growth in OECD and non-OECD countries. However, there are many uncertainties, including the implications for innovation and impacts on employment.
Questions for discussion included:
How can we ensure widespread benefits from these developments?
Do these developments require a different policy mix from that already in place?
What are the implications for business, (i) on the way they organise their activities and (ii) where they organise their activities?
What can government policies do to maximise the benefits to all from these developments?
What are implications for future OECD work?