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Information Economy Report 2017

Digitalization, Trade and Development

image of Information Economy Report 2017

The Information Economy Report 2017 analyzes the evolving digital economy and its implications for trade and development. While these are still early days of the digital economy, it is already clear that it will have globally transformative impacts on the way we live, work and develop our economies. As the world strives to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, harnessing the power of information and communications technologies (ICTs) is essential. Large parts of the developing world remain disconnected from the Internet, and many people lack access to high-speed broadband connectivity. Policymaking at the national and international levels needs to mitigate the risk that digitalization could widen existing divides and create new gaps. Since increased reliance on digital technologies, such as cloud computing, three-dimensional printing, big data and “the Internet of things”, it is essential to start assessing opportunities and pitfalls alike, and to prepare for what is coming. The analysis contained in the report contributes to this process and proposes ways in which the international community can reduce inequality, enable the benefits of digitalization to reach all people and ensure that no one is left behind by the evolving digital economy.

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Within the UNCTAD Division on Technology and Logistics, the ICT Analysis Section carries out policy-oriented analytical work on the development implications of information and communications technologies (ICTs) and e-commerce. It is responsible for the preparation of the Information Economy Report. The ICT Analysis Section promotes international dialogue on issues related to ICTs for development, and contributes to building developing countries’ capacities to measure the information economy and to design and implement relevant policies and legal frameworks. The Section is also managing the eTrade for all initiative.

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