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‘E-Selling’ Caricom. Annalee C. Babb annalee@murrow.org. Outline. Main Question/Central Arguments ICT & Development Ways of Thinking About Access National Knowledge Infrastructure [NKI] for Growth Innovating Technology Services Conclusion: Knowledge-Driven Development Recommendations.

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slide1
‘E-Selling’ Caricom

Annalee C. Babb

annalee@murrow.org

outline
Outline
  • Main Question/Central Arguments
  • ICT & Development
  • Ways of Thinking About Access
  • National Knowledge Infrastructure [NKI] for Growth
  • Innovating Technology Services
  • Conclusion: Knowledge-Driven Development
  • Recommendations
main question
Main Question
  • Several Caricom member states moving to invest heavily and quickly in necessary ICT infrastructures to promote e-commerce
  • But, what products and services are they planning to sell in the high-value-added Internet marketplace?
central arguments
Central Arguments
  • Real barrier to e-commerce growth and long-term development of islands of Caribbean Community:
    • Lack of enabling environment for creation, processing & diffusion of new knowledge, ideas & innovation
  • Solution: Creation of a National Knowledge Infrastructure (NKI) for development, built on
    • Operational access to new digital media within…
    • … an efficient National System of [services] Innovation
link between telecoms development
Link Between Telecoms & Development
  • Is there a correlation between investment in telecoms & development?
    • Causality runs both ways

ICT investments Economic growth

ICT investments Economic growth

Heather Hudson, 1997

product cycles
Product Cycles
  • ICT policy-making product cycle
    • From utopian pronouncements to more critical analyses
    • Today, many policy-makers still euphoric about ICT potential…
    • …Scholars are becoming more critical, but
    • Still strong belief that new digital media hold tremendous promise for development

Ernest J. Wilson III, 1997

if you have a hammer
If You Have a Hammer…
  • To someone with a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail…
  • It is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail…

-- Abraham Maslow

making room for difference
Making Room for Difference
  • Each society has its own strengths/weaknesses
    • Different levels of receptivity to technological innovation/change
  • Every developmental issue facing less advanced economies is not equivalent to Maslow’s nail
  • Nor is its solution necessarily to be found in the hammer of a specific technology or technological application
    • i.e., the new digital media/the e-commerce services/applications they make possible
old economy vs new economy
Old Economy vs. New Economy
  • Strong correlation between ability to be competitive in the ‘old’ economy and ability to stay competitive in the Internet economy
    • Technology sectors crash beginning in 2000
    • Structural problems in Asian economies
  • E-commerce penetration by region is closely linked to education and affluence (economic and social development)
the high stakes internet
The High Stakes Internet
  • E-commerce stats:
    • B2B transactions worldwide could top the US$1 trillion mark by 2006
    • Corporations internationally could save more than US$1 trillion in 2002 doing business over the Internet
  • The $$ stakes are high – motivating countries & businesses to make huge investments to be part of the lucrative e-commerce space
caricom s ict e commerce strategies
Caricom’s ICT/E-Commerce Strategies
  • Barbados example
    • Telecoms liberalization/deregulation, sector competition
    • IPR protection
    • E-commerce legislation
    • Proposed bankruptcy bill
    • Edutech2000
caricom s structural challenges
Caricom’s Structural Challenges
  • Productivity/efficiency gains from domestic e-commerce activities too small to sustain economic growth
    • Also tiny local production base in manufacturing, agriculture…
  • Heavy dependence on a few foreign exchange earning sectors
  • Risk-averse private sectors not responsive to innovation/change
  • Public sector inertia & inefficiency
  • Absence of national systems/policies for services sector innovation
  • Little success moving to high-value-added tech products & services
solution
Solution
  • I propose creation/nurturing of National Knowledge Infrastructure (NKI) as central framework for development/economic growth
    • Places knowledge at center of development at every level of economy and society
  • Components of the NKI:
    • Operational access to new digital media in…
    • … an efficient National System of [services] Innovation
understanding access
Understanding Access
  • Physical Access
  • Financial Access
  • Secure Access
  • Operational Access
stepping up the technology ladder
Stepping up the Technology Ladder

What is required for Barbados/ Caricom/ OECS to Move up the ICT/Knowledge Ladder?

Operational Access

(knowledge)

Secure Access

Barbados/ Caricom’s

Target Position

Financial Access

Barbados’ Current Position?

Physical Access

OECS’ Current Position?

OECS = Organization of Eastern Caribbean States

Source: Adapted from Vongpivat, 2002

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Elements of an NSI

  • Public
  • Private
  • Academia

FrameworkComponents

Sources

Policy

Government

Production

PrivateSector

Research

Academia

Source: Vongpivat 2002

Macroenvironment

innovation in services
Innovation in Services
  • Pratana Vongpivat: In NSI, government policy plays crucial role in sparking competition, demand for and supply of new technologies
  • Her model, like NSI literature in general, explores mainly productive/ manufacturing sectors of an economy
  • My research argues it is vital for Caricom states to create national systems that foster innovation in high-value-added technology services sectors
    • OECD has just begun to look at this for its member states
    • More research necessary in general, and for Caricom
conclusion
Conclusion

Operational Access (to ICT)

+

NSI (in services)

=

NKI (knowledge creation)

some recommendations
Some Recommendations
  • National education curricula that focus on “absorption” of information as well as teaching of logic, creative thinking and critical analysis
  • Targeted regional partnerships between private sectors, academia and governments for diffusion of specified knowledge/technologies
  • Software and e-commerce institutes to foster student, teacher, knowledge exchange between region’s MDCs and LDCs
  • Attraction/effective utilization of high-tech financial, intellectual and physical capital of Caribbean Diaspora
more recommendations
More Recommendations
  • Fostering of risk-taking/innovative culture in Caricom private sectors
    • Example: Bankruptcy laws to encourage invention & originality, rather than penalizing actors for business failures
  • Creation of appropriate R&D environment
    • Would support efforts of inexperienced companies in developing, commercializing new high-technology products and services
  • Incentives to UWI to integrate new digital technologies & services across main and satellite campuses, and devote more capacity to R&D in support of private sector, general economic growth
    • Academia might work together with international organizations
my research network
My Research Network
  • Lee W. McKnight, Paul Vaaler, and Raul Katz, Mobile Nations. Creative Destruction in Emerging Markets, (under review by MIT Press), 2003.
  • Lee W. McKnight, Paul Vaaler, and Raul Katz, eds., Creative Destruction. Business Survival Strategies in the Global Internet Economy, MIT Press, 2001, 2002; Japanese translation Toyo Keizai, 2003.
  • Peter Cukor and Lee McKnight, “Knowledge Networks, the Internet, and Development,” The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, Vol. 25, no. 1, March 2001, pp. 43-58.
  • Pratana Vongpivat, “A National Innovation System Model: Industrial Development in Thailand,” Unpublished doctoral dissertation, 2002, Medford, MA: The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.