Brussels (February 2, 2011) – More than a third of the world’s information and communications technology (ICT) exports now originate from mainland China and its special administrative region of Hong Kong, a United Nations agency reported Wednesday, citing data that also shows that Asia accounted for 66.3 per cent of global ICT exports in 2009.
In the wake of the global financial crisis, mainland China exported ICT goods valued at $356 billion in 2009, followed by Hong Kong ($142 billion) and the United States ($113 billion), according to the data compiled by the UN Conference on Trade and Development.
Reliance on exports of ICT products is most pronounced in Hong Kong, where the goods represent more than 43 per cent of all merchandise exports, according to UNCTAD.
Other economies in which ICT goods make up 30 per cent or more of exports include mainland China; Singapore; the Republic of Korea; Taiwan, Province of China; and the Philippines.
The data shows that while ICT exports from most major exporters declined in 2009 as a result of the financial crisis, the fall was particularly pronounced among several European countries. ICT exports dropped by more than half in Portugal and Finland, by 36 per cent in Ireland, and by more than 20 per cent in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, and Sweden. Japan and the US also saw sharp declines.
India’s exports increased by a dramatic 244 per cent, while those of Malaysia by 18 per cent. Declines in exports experienced by China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, and Thailand were relatively modest.
The US tops the list of ICT importers, followed by China and Hong Kong. Among major importers, declines of more than 35 per cent were registered by Finland, Ireland, Portugal, Russia and Spain in 2009. India, on the other hand, experienced a rapid increase in ICT goods imports, moving from 28th to 17th in the global ranking of importers. Economies for which ICT goods represent large shares of their imports are mainly in East and South-East Asia. A few Latin American countries also report a high reliance on ICT goods imports, including Costa Rica (17 per cent), Mexico (20 per cent) and Paraguay (26 per cent).