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Asian IT Firms Under-Represented in Free-Trade Negotiations

Free trade agreement (FTA) is only a dirty phrase if you happen to be an Asian technology or telecom firm. According to a Newsbytes summary of an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report, 76 percent of Asian technology firms would like to see their governments sign FTAs that include more provisions for the IT sector. 

No Fair! – says Asian IT

Many executives also feel existing agreements have done little to promote change or harmonization in the areas where technology firms see the biggest barriers to international expansion such as intellectual property protection, e-commerce and rules governing the use of data.

The EIU report, which surveyed over one-hundred companies in the Asia-Pacific region, showed a near unanimous dissatisfaction with information-based provisions. With FTAs primarily focused on traditional manufacturing and agriculture sectors, it’s no wonder technology firms are up in arms. Some blame the rapid pace of industry change, which tends to move ahead of policy. Another claim is that FTAs have been slow to acknowledge the shift of employment opportunities to IT and telecom.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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