- Commonwealth factor
There is a variable supply of IT products and services in the Commonwealth. In most countries IT companies are able to set up critical IT services such as establishing a computer network and providing ongoing technical support. Computer software giant Microsoft has offices or partnerships in 51 of the 53 countries of the Commonwealth*. A major issue that stifles the growth of IT companies in many developing countries is small private sector markets. Thus in smaller countries, such as Tuvalu and Vanuatu, the public sector continues to be a major and critical source of market demand.
Developed, South East Asian and Caribbean member states have the highest level of computer and internet usage. Unsurprisingly the same countries have the highest incomes per capita in the Commonwealth. Incomes certainly, along with education, human resources, appropriateness of products, the ICT regulatory framework and language are major influences of success in the sector.
* Nauru and Kiribati being the exception
The Commonwealth Factor in India’s success
Commonwealth member-state India leads the world in the exportation of information technology services (US$58 billion, 2010). Much has been written about India’s success in information technologies and many attribute this to its competitive advantage of low labour costs and the high level of qualification of its English-speaking employees. The country also liberalised its economy in the 1990s. Its success in grooming a large pool of IT experts also means that it benefits from remittances from Indian diasporas working in the US and in Commonwealth countries UK, Canada and Australia.