15 Years of the Information Technology Agreement

Trade, Innovation and Global Production Networks

image of 15 Years of the Information Technology Agreement

The Information and Technology Agreement (ITA) was finalized at the first WTO Ministerial Conference, in Singapore, in 1996, committing its participants to completely eliminate duties on certain information technology products. In its 15 years, the ITA has promoted affordable access to a wide range of technologies, encouraging closer cooperation between developed and developing countries. As production networks become increasingly global, the ITA will continue to facilitate the shift from products made in a specific country to “made in the world”. To mark the 15th anniversary of the ITA, this publication charts the political and technical obstacles which were overcome during the creation of the Agreement and the issues which still need to be resolved. It details the establishment of the ITA Committee and how the Agreement is implemented, and investigates the impact the ITA has had on trade liberalization and innovation. The publication also examines the effect information technology has had on global production networks and what this means for developing countries and the ITA.



Global production networks, electronic products and developing countries

Many manufactured goods are now produced with components sourced from several places around the world, using international supply chains within global production networks (GPNs). This is particularly the case for most finished electronic products, which are not “made in” a single country any more, but are rather “made in the world”.


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