PH ICT council calls for tariff cut, adoption of global IT agreement

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[/caption] NICP, composed of 45 ICT councils, federations and organizations from various cities and provinces in the Philippines, is one of the signatory of a global statement for the swift expansion of the ITA signed by 64 associations across 27 countries and 2 regions. According to NICP chair Jocell Batapa-Sigue, the ITA expansion will have a major positive impact in the development of ICT software and services industries in the Philippines as she cited the latest report of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) titled ?The Benefits of ITA Expansion for Developing Countries?. The report indicated that the ITA and ITA expansion will benefit developing countries in five principal ways:

  1. Lower ICT costs facilitates diffusion and adoption of affordable ICT products and services which boosts productivity and thus enhances economic growth;
  2. By lowering the price of key inputs, the ITA has undergirded development of burgeoning ICT software and services industries in many developing countries, including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines;
  3. Boosting exports of ICT products and services;
  4. Contributing to the competitiveness of developing countries manufacturers?; and
  5. Promoting innovation in developing countries? ICT sectors.
Batapa-Sigue said more than 15 years have passed since the ITA was born and not a single product has been added to it even though the ICT sector is bursting with innovation and growth. Product expansion of the ITA as well as expansion of geographic scope of the agreement would yield immediate and substantial benefits, removing tariffs on a vast array of tech products not currently covered, she noted. The initiative, Batapa-Sigue said, would improve market access for information and communications technology (ICT) products around the world and make the newest technologies more affordable and available to everyone. ?NICP joins the call on the ITA members to build on the current momentum, aim high for an ambitious, meaningful outcome, and complete their negotiations to expand this critically important agreement within a year. ?These associations also continue to be deeply committed to working closely with their respective governments to achieve a swift and ambitious outcome that will expand trade, stimulate growth, increase jobs, spur innovation, and promote prosperity around the world,? the NICP said.]]>

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