Concepts and Theory
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a core sector of the modern manufacturing industry and trade in goods, but it also concerns IT services and telecommunications services, meaning that the services sector and services trade are also affected. Part of ICT sectors are technology-intensive and knowledge-intensive, but there are certainly some activities which are also characterized by low knowledge-intensive and rather modest skills. The case of call centers is one prime example. At the other end of the spectrum, we find such activities as chip production and advanced software which could be characterized as high technology/high-knowledge intensive. While such a broad classification at the two-digit level of industry (or trade) is adequate, the increasing tendency of the ICT sector to realize considerable fragmentation — that is splitting up the value-added chain — requires adequate differentiation in terms of classification. While the design of a chip or software development is to be characterized by high technology/high knowledge-intensity, the production of wafers or the writing of standard software codes (as part of a complex software package) represents medium technology intensity. From this perspective ICT is, of course, not a homogenous sector.
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- 2.According to the 1993 System of National Accounts (SNA) services are defined as ‘not separate entities over which ownership rights can be established. They cannot be traded separately from their production. Services are heterogeneous outputs produced... By the time their production is completed they must have been provided to the consumers’. The SNA 1993 also claims that the outputs of the Service industries “are often stored on physical objects—paper, tapes, disks, etc.—that can be traded like ordinary goods. Whether characterized as goods or services, these products possess the essential characteristic that they can be produced by one unit and supplied to another, thus making possible division of labour and the emergence of markets” (UN (2002)).Google Scholar
- 3.In Linux systems the APIs are part of the kernel and therefore open source as well. Apparently the Japanese electronic companies Fujitsu, NEC, and Hitachi now want to introduce an API interface outside the kernel, so that they might be able to give away drivers for their machines as a closed source software (Heise-News (2005)).Google Scholar
- 4.Based on US data, Zimny & Mallampally (2002) find, for example, that the internationalisation of services as a whole and of a majority of individual service industries takes place more through FDI than through trade.Google Scholar