ICT Services Trade in the BRICS Countries: Special and Common Features
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Involvement in the global innovation system and the level of ICT influence the technological state of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) countries and their position in the world economy. Many studies were inspired that examined these economies from various prospective. However, only a few have specially focused on information and communication technologies (ICT), and particularly in services sectors. This paper aims to contribute to the analysis of the evolution of services ICT systems in BRICS. The main hypothesis of the article is that BRICS has made significant progress in economic cooperation, at the same time, the group has not been equally successful in designing and implementing their own agenda in the technology field. The BRICS are not released at a sufficient level of interaction and advocacy in ICT services, which would increase their role in international trade. The authors observe the retrospective of the process of formation of national innovation systems of the country participants of BRICS, consider current trends and challenges in the development of national markets for these services in each member country, and highlight future directions for the development. Then they provide an analysis of BRICS countries’ participation in the international ICT services trade. An estimation of revealed comparative advantage indicators allowed determining the dynamics in comparative advantage for ICT service trade in BRICS. Despite the increase in the volume of export operations in the trade in ICT services, their level of competitiveness is declining. The most vulnerable to the reduction of revealed comparative advantage was India, at the same time Brazil and South Africa showed the least volatile dynamics. It is argued that the policies aimed at promoting investment and enhancing conditions for trade in ICT services contributed significantly to services exports expansion in BRICS. Based on the analysis, a conclusion is made about the current problems and insufficient level of technical cooperation within the group.
KeywordsICT services International trade BRICS Competitiveness
JEL ClassificationF13 F14 L86
Support from the Research Program of the School of World Economy and International Affairs at National Research University Higher School of Economics is gratefully acknowledged, 2017-2018.
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