INFORMATION ECONOMY REPORT 2012

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Martin Labbé

UN/WTO International Trade Centre


Digital World, Dhaka
-

Bangladesh

7 December 2012

INFORMATION ECONOMY REPORT 2012

The Software Industry and
Developing

Countries

Use #IER2012 on Twitter

to share your thoughts & comments!

The International Trade Centre

www.intracen.org

International Trade Centre (WTO/UNCTAD)


Software
is

Everywhere

The growing emphasis on ICTs in the delivery of government, healthcare, education
and other goods and services demands customized applications. Countries therefore
need the capacity to adopt, adapt and develop relevant software.

BAN Ki
-
moon, UN Secretary
-
General



Software
Sector

Opportunities


Low

capital
barriers

to entry


Generator

of
employment



not least for the
skilled

youth

; reverses the
brain

drain


Source of innovation


Source of export revenue


Key to
sustain

productive ICT use in society



Developing

Countries
Spend

Little

on Software

Source: WITSA/IHS Global Insight Inc.

India

tops software exports
from

the South

Followed

by China, Philippines and Singapore

Top 20
exporters

of computer and
information services, 2010 or
latest

year

Market

Orientation
Differs

Asia
-
Pacific
examples
:


Export
-
oriented
:

-
Sri Lanka

-
India

-
Philippines

-
Malaysia


Domestic

sales
-
oriented
:

-
China

-
Pakistan

-
Bangladesh

-
Indonesia

-
Islamic

Rep
. Of
Iran

Local
Demand

for Software
is

Expanding

Mobile applications


Expanding

use of mobile phones


more
demand

for mobile

apps



Global mobile
app

industry

in 2011: $15
-
20 billion, set to
rise

to $38 billion by 2014


Mobile
apps

development

adapted

to local
needs
, cultures
and
languages

on the
rise

in
developing

countries


Diverse content:
from

news and
entertainment

to patient
care and
government

services
apps

Source:
Various

market

estimates
, AT Kearney, World Bank.

Mobile Apps: The Case of Sri Lanka

Rank

Name of app

Description

1

SETT Sinhala/Tamil
web browser

The only Sinhala/Tamil
-
enabled web
browser for Android

2

SETT Hindi web
browser

Renders Hindi Unicode within the app

3

Tamil SMS

Allows users to send SMS in Tamil

4

Sinhala Tamil
-
English
dictionary

First such dictionary on Android Market

5

Sinhala Dictionary
offline

Sinhala
-
English
-
Sinhala dictionary for
Android 2.1 and above

6

Sri Lanka Radio Live

Free radio with more than 10 live
stations

7

Helakuru Sinhala
Keyboard

First phonetic Sinhala keyboard for
mobiles

8

Sri Lanka Train
Schedule

Train schedules, traffic information,
prices

9

Bhasha Puvath

Trilingual news reader

10

Lankadeepa

Breaking news on Android mobiles

Most
popular

locally

developed

apps

in the
Android

App
Market

in Sri Lanka, March 2012

The developer of the No 1 app, Mr
Dhanika Perera, is a 25 year old
university student from a rural village
in southern Sri Lanka. Since January
2011, he has developed another six
apps for the Android market.

Strong

Appetite

for Smartphones

Growing

Demand

for Software

Social media, online
work

and
cloud

computing


Broadband
enables

new
forms

of software
development


Use of
social media
creates

demand

for new applications

o
End 2011: 481 million Facebook
users
; ~75%
outside

of
North

America

o
Mobile version
widely

used

in
developing

countries


Online software
freelancing

rising

fast

o
Elance:
programmers

from

150 (!) countries
involved

o
Bangladesh: 10,000 + of freelance
programmers


Cloud
computing

and Software as a Service (
SaaS
)

o
Brazil

and China
among

fastest

adopters

of
cloud

computing


Source: UNCTAD, Facebook, Elance.com,
Capgemini
,
Forrester
, media reports.

Free and Open Source Software
Coming

of Age


FOSS continue to gain
market

share

in
many

market

segments


FOSS
offers

several

advantages

to
users

o
Promotion of local
learning

o
Lower

costs

and more local value
creation

o
Less

dependence

on
proprietary

software

o
National
security

considerations

o
Opportunities

for local business
development


ICT
growth

areas
rely

on FOSS


Policies

becoming

more FOSS
friendly

o
Among developing regions, Asia
is the front
-
runner

Source: UNCTAD,
Center for Strategic and International Studies,
NetCraft
,
StatCounter
.

Software
Strategies

Spreading


Software
strategies

put in place in
many

countries,
e.g
.,

o
Bangladesh


rapid

growth

of
freelancing

o
China


software production rose
from

$9 billion to $286 billion
in the last
decade

supported

by
government

policies

o
India



increasing

focus on
domestic

software
needs

o
Malaysia


strong

emphasis

on FOSS

o
Republic

of
Korea



Software
Korea Quantum
Jump Strategy

o
Sri Lanka


mainly

export
oriented


Strategies

need

to
be

adapted

to
each

case


Involve

private

sector
,
university

and
developer

community

Barriers

to Software
Growth

According

to national IT/software associations

Share

(%) of
respondents

mentioning

factor

Source: UNCTAD and WITSA

Top
barrier

in
the
Asia
-
Pacific

Venture Capital
Rising

but
Concentrated

Selected

Asian

economies

among

recipients

Areas for Policy Intervention


Affordable

ICT infrastructure


especially

broadband


Availability

of
skilled

workforce


Public
procurement

as
strategic

tool

to
create

local
demand

o
Make

use of FOSS
where

feasible


Foster local software
industry

capabilities

o
Business
environment

o
Encourage relevant
quality

certification

o
Access to finance


Strengthening

legal

framework


o
IPRs
, e
-
payment
,
e
-
transactions


A
Role

for International
Partners


Capacity
-
building


Training


Application
development


Strengthen

legal

and
regulatory

frameworks


Create

demand

by
using

software expertise in
developing

countries
when

developing

software applications for
their

development

projects

Conclusion


Importance of software capabilities
is rising


Greater opportunities for engaging in software projects…


…and seizing them requires active involvement by
Governments and their partners


Strategies should seek to balance exports and domestic
sales…


… and
leverage
partnerships with other stakeholders


Goal
: to move from passive adopters of foreign technology to
developers of relevant local applications

Companies in every industry need to assume
that a software revolution is coming.

Marc Andreessen, Wall Street Journal, 20 August 2011



INFORMATION
ECONOMY

REPORT 2012

can

be

downloaded

free of charge
at

www.unctad.org/ier2012