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Sunday, September 29 • 10:10am - 10:45am
Characterizing and Comparing the Evolution of the Major Global Players in Information and Communications Technologies

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Introduction: In this paper, we characterize and compare, using most recent official macro-economic data, the evolution of the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) industry of the most important global players in ICT: the USA, Japan, China, the European Union (EU), Korea and Taiwan. The ICT industry includes IT and telecom hardware manufacturers, telecom operators and software and computer service firms. It provides technologies and solutions necessary for the development of the digital economy and society. This analysis is particularly relevant for policy makers since the ICT industry and ICT-enabled innovation make an increasingly important contribution to economic growth. Our research is part of the policy support provided by JRC-IPTS to the European Commission, in particular to its Communications Networks, Content and Technology Directorate General.

Approach and Data: We first identify the most important global players in ICT by comparing the economic weight of their ICT industry and their volume of Business Expenditures in R&D (BERD). We then analyze the specialization and strengths of these economies in ICT manufacturing and services. We conclude by examining main trends and policy implications.

The data used in this research (value added, employment and BERD) was collected from official sources including OECD, US Bureau of Economic Analysis, NSF, METI, EUROSTAT, National Bureau of Statistics of China, Statistics Korea, National Statistics of Taiwan. For patents we use EPO PATSTAT data. Our analysis covers four years, from 2006 to 2009, a period that ended with the recent economic crisis. 2009 is the most recent year for which official data is currently available.

We followed the most recent definition of the ICT sector adopted by the OECD in 2007. In order to obtain comparable data from 2006 to 2009, we elaborated a transition methodology from the previous to the current definition. We developed correspondence tables to account for different ICT sector definitions in the analyzed countries. Data collection and methodological work was conducted jointly with the Valencian Institute of Economic Research (IVIE). Our data sets and methodological reports and notes are publicly available on the JRC-IPTS web site.

The novelty of this research consists in providing a multi-year comparison of the ICT industry and its R&D by manufacturing and services sectors across six large world economies, relying on official data.

Results overview: Our initial results indicate that the USA, Japan, China, the EU, Korea and Taiwan, are the six world economies that contribute most to global ICT production and R&D. Among those, Taiwan, Korea and Japan are the most ?ICT-specialized? economies. The ICT industry of Taiwan and Korea is more specialized in manufacturing, while it is strongly oriented toward services in the EU, the USA and Japan.

In absolute values, the top world ICT manufacturing economies are the USA, China and Japan, while the economies that invest most in ICT manufacturing business R&D are the USA, Japan and the EU. Interestingly, China still has (in 2009) a rather low level of ICT manufacturing business R&D investment, in spite of its ICT manufacturing production being as important as that of the USA. One possible reason could be that a large proportion of ICT R&D may take place in public organizations. We plan to investigate this further in our paper.

In ICT services, the USA is also the world leader, followed by the EU.
There is clear evidence of a strong recent increase of ICT R&D in China. In 2008, China became second after Japan in ICT patenting, while it was sixth in 2000; and it approached in 2009 the level of ICT BERD of Korea.

These initial results also provide substantial insights on the role of these economies in global ICT production networks.


Sunday September 29, 2013 10:10am - 10:45am
GMUSL Room 221

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