ESCAP REPORT: SMALL, MEDIUM ENTERPRISES IN DANGER
Bangkok (United Nations Information Services) --- Newly industrialized Asian
economies are moving fast to exploit the opportunity provided by information intensive
industries, an ESCAP report states.
However, a number of industries in developing countries are still dependent on outdated,
labour intensive technology that rely heavily on low labour costs to keep up their
These industries mostly comprise small and medium-sized enterprises that face increasing
competitiveness with the intensification of globalization and liberalization. To increase
their role in the global market, technological upgrading and human resources
developments are needed especially to enhance their long-term competitiveness.
These and other information technology matters are being studied by countries attending
the 56th Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, 1-7 June at the
United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok. The theme of the conference is
development through globalization and partnership in the 21st Century.
Certain conditions are needed for the successful diffusion of information technology into
these industries, the ESCAP study finds.
---The availability of competent human resources. New technology cannot exceed the
capacity of human resources, both in the managerial and worker levels and thus cannot
be introduced too fast.
---Raising the level of trust and confidence and establishing a suitable domestic and
international legal framework for e-commerce.
--.An increase in the access to information on suitable business models and technologies.
---Addressing security, legal and liability concerns, as well as building business
awareness and improving the information infrastructure.
Foreign direct investment was considered to be an important resource for the
development of start-ups and small enterprises due to the accompanied transfer of
technology and related training.
To maximise the opportunities offered by information technology, well co-ordinated
efforts are required in establishing an integrated policy that will facilitate the
development, transfer and adoption of information technology, especially in the private
Regional co-operation is imperative and will complement national efforts in the adoption
of information technology or IT for increased competitiveness of industries. All countries
in the region could benefit from sharing their experience in the building of Information
Technology (IT) capabilities at the national and firm levels.