World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Digital Divide Hurting Economic Development

Digital Divide Hurting Economic Development – UN Report

New York, Nov 10 2005 6:00PM

Africa and other non-industrialized regions –which already face numerous obstacles in the areas of commerce and trade – are at a competitive disadvantage as businesses around the world increasingly use the Internet, according to a new report launched by the United Nations trade agency today.

The Information Economy Report 2005 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) shows that while in some poor regions the number of Internet users has grown substantially, overall the gap between developed and developing countries remains wide.

For example while 89 per cent of enterprises in European Union nations are connected to the Internet, the same is true of only 5 per cent of firms in Mauritius and 9 per cent in Thailand.

UNCTAD points to an urgent need to explore policies and best practices to help enterprises in developing countries use information and communication technologies (ICT) to enhance their competitiveness.

Developing nations must, for example, find ways to greatly expand Internet access, reduce online costs, and modernize banking, credit and accounting systems so that domestic companies can conduct the kind of online financial transfers and quick deal-making that are typical of e-businesses.

Tourism is one example where developing countries could benefit from the Internet economically, the report notes. Developing countries now attract some 35 per cent of international travellers each year, but most have been unable to increase tourism profits because most trips are planned, booked and financed through firms based in richer nations.

The Internet offers a chance to change that pattern because many travellers are now shopping for their vacations online. By setting up well-linked websites, domestically owned hotels, banks and travel firms can provide a full package of services necessary for tourists to arrange their trips – reservations, plane flights, currency exchange and payments. That way the profits can stay at home and contribute to job growth and economic development.

The problem is, however, that setting up Internet systems that allow planning, booking and payments is a stiff challenge for many poorer nations, the reports says.

Produced annually, the Information Economy Report examines recent events, trends and processes in the area of information and communication technologies and identifies their major implications for the economic and social prospects of developing countries.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results
Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

WHO: Vaccination No Guarantee Of Virus Eradication

In the final World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 press conference of the year, on Monday, senior officials warned that the virus is 'not necessarily the big one', and that there is a real chance of another, more serious pandemic spreading ... More>>

Covid: Two Billion COVID Vaccine Doses Secured, WHO Says End Of Pandemic Is In Sight

The end of the pandemic is in sight but we must not let our guard down, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, as he welcomed the news that the global vaccine partnership COVAX has lined up almost two billion doses of existing ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>


UN Rights Office: Iran Execution Of Child Offender Breaks International Law

The execution of an Iranian man for a crime allegedly committed when he was 16 years old has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and raised concerns over violations of his right to a fair trial. In a statement released on Thursday, ... More>>

UN News: Fighting Displaces Over 500,000 In Northern Mozambique, Reports UN Refuge Agency

Attacks by armed groups in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia and Niassa provinces have displaced more than 530,000 people, many of whom have been forced to move multiple times, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday. According to ... More>>