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Growing Trade in Electronic Transmissions: Implications for the SouthUNCTAD

Growing trade in digitizable products is posing new challenges for the South. Digitizable products are those products which are traded both in the physical form as well as ‘online’ i.e.,downloaded from the internet, e.g., music, e-books, software etc. The online trade of digitizable products is termed as electronic transmissions. Digital technologies like 3D printing,robotics and Big Data analytics depend heavily on electronic transmissions and can therefore lead to exponential growth in this trade. This can have serious implications for the South as most of the developing countries are net importers of electronic transmissions. The paper identifies digitizable products and estimates their trade in physical form and their electronic transmissions. Impact of growing trade in electronic transmissions on tariff revenues of the governments is estimated along with its broader implications for industrialization in the South.

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