Book review: Soumyen Sikdar, Ramesh Chandra Das and Rajib Bhattacharyya (Eds), Role of IT–ITES in Economic Development of Asia: Issues of Growth, Sustainability and Governance

Published date01 August 2022
Date01 August 2022
Subject MatterBook Review
Book Review
Soumyen Sikdar, Ramesh Chandra Das and Rajib Bhattacharyya
(Eds), Role of IT–ITES in Economic Development of Asia: Issues of
Growth, Sustainability and Governance. Springer, 2020, pp. 329, 109.99
(Hardback), 79.99 (Paperback), ISBN 978-981-15-4205-3.
During the past two decades, with the advent of information technology (IT), the
potential for trade in the services sector has increased manifold. Apart from core
computer-related services, the growing application of IT-enabled services (ITES)
across various service categories has emerged as a major opportunity for
developing countries. In particular, while service trade opportunities have
deepened in all the possible forms of trade in recent times, namely mode 1 (cross-
border supply, i.e., business process outsourcing [BPO]), mode 2 (consumption
abroad), mode 3 (commercial presence, i.e., investment abroad and incorporation)
and mode 4 (movement of natural persons), the mode 1 type of trade received a
significant boost. While the varying mode 1 reform commitment levels of various
countries at the World Trade Organization (WTO) continue to be an area of
discussion, in practice, all the countries are generally following a ‘freer’ trade
Given the potential importance of IT/ITES sectors in employment creation in
general and facilitating steady growth path in particular, it is of crucial importance
for policymakers to note the appropriate lessons from their developmental
outcome witnessed so far. The volume edited by Sikdar et al., which attempts to
analyse the issues pertaining to IT/ITES sectors in the Asian context, is therefore
a timely contribution to the existing literature. The volume contains 24 chapters,
coming under two sections, namely interrelationship between IT–ITES and
economic–financial indicators and influence of these sectors on environment,
health, education and employment.
The technical papers in the first section, focusing on Asian, South Asian or
Indian contexts, come out with several interesting results. First, it is observed in
the Asian context that labour-displacing technological progress may adversely
affect the less developed and developing countries but benefit their developed
counterparts. In particular, the analyses underline the labour displacement in
countries witnessing relatively high degree of IT/ITES service growth, which in
turn propagate the ‘jobless growth’ phenomenon. Second, as any investment to
augment application of IT tools potentially leads to greater effectiveness of the
service delivery (e.g., banking), there is a compelling case for periodic adoption
of latest technology. Third, growth of financial services is contingent upon a wider
Foreign Trade Review
57(3) 351–353, 2022
© 2022 Indian Institute of
Foreign Trade
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/00157325221095634

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