AFRICANGLOBE – Caribbean countries have been told that purchasing goods and services in the information technology (IT) sector by government offices provides untapped potential for stimulating domestic economic progress.
The new study by the United Nations notes that while local IT firms contribute to increased productivity, employment and innovation, these local businesses mainly in developing countries like the Caribbean, are often constricted by low domestic demand.
The study, titled “Promoting Local IT Sector Development through Public Procurement” had been undertaken by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The study argues that public procurement can boost demand for their products.
“Leveraging public procurement for IT-sector development is a complex challenge, but can be a powerful policy tool when successfully applied,” said Anne Miroux, Director of UNCTAD’s Division on Technology and Logistics.
According to the study, the participation of local IT firms in public tenders is often hampered by a lack of trust and awareness, by the technical complexities of IT procurement, by inadequate procurement frameworks and capacities and by an absence of relevant IT standards and interoperability frameworks.
Drawing on country reviews over several countries and citing other evidence, the study suggests governmental actions that can promote local IT-sector development through public procurement.
“A competitive local IT sector is essential for developing countries to reap full benefits from the world’s rapid evolution in ICT,” according to UNCTAD.