Chapter

Internationalisation of European ICT Activities

pp 1-5

Introduction and Main Policy Lessons

  • Huub MeijersAffiliated withUNU-MERITDepartment of Economics, University Maastricht
  • , Bernard DachsAffiliated withDepartment of Technology Policy, Austrian Research Centers — ARC
  • , Paul J. J. WelfensAffiliated withEuropean Institute for International Economic Relations (EIIW), University of Wuppertal

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Abstract

The world economy is currently facing a wave of internationalisation or globalisation which can only be compared to that of the second half of the 19th century after the invention of railroads, steamships and the telegraph. The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector is highly affected by these changes and the internationalisation of ICT activities has become a major topic in policy debates and discussions. Next to increasing volumes in trade in ICT goods and services is the increasing tendency to relocate ICT sector production facilities firms’ research and development activities to locations outside of their home countries. However, it should be noted that ICT is not only subject to internationalisation and fragmentation, in fact, it is also a major enabler of the process. ICT allows for an easy exchange of information between various locations, and therefore helps to co-ordinate a geographically dispersed production structure.