Intermediate business-to-business trade in so-called “other commercial services”, which are dominated by ICT and business services, is the fastest growing component of world trade today.
We are still only in the initial stage of the digital age, but developing countries are already participating actively in this 21st century services trade. In such sectors, physical barriers affecting land-locked countries and island states are less important.
Language skills, customer focus, time zones and telecommunications links have become more relevant determinants of competitiveness, offering new opportunities for latecomers to development to leapfrog from primary to tertiary industries.
One driving force behind the East Asian growth was the accelerated globalization accompanying the IT revolution. IT allows far lower costs, trade network development and expansion, and enormous improvements in the speed of market response time, which is why corporate performance today is determined more than ever before by a company’s IT strategy. A number of arguments have been put forward as to policies utilizing IT for economic growth and greater production, and empirical analyses have been undertaken on the degree to which IT contributes to economic growth. However, to examine the effect of IT on industrial and corporate competitiveness, company utilization of this technology and the issues it presents need to be examined at a more micro level. Service sales increasing revenue within international business are growing at a rapid rate, such as we see with Apple's App Store.
The UK banking sector moving towards development of a unified banking app has also been in discussion showing the importance of this growth industry.
This is what the CRT is working towards by pushing for innovation within specific areas such as how IT can innovate trade and commerce, and how technology is making huge steps within online retail giants such as Amazon and Alibaba. The other area being how technology development and IT is infusing the development of new products within retail and manufacturing allowing for faster turnaround of production and in-turn distribution helping to bolster global value chains and business models within their process of utilising innovative technology and IT systems to generate a sustainable growth.