The World Development Federation
Virtual Global Super Projects Conference
Lessons of Investment In Technology Parks and Their Role in Bridging the Digital Divide
Meheroo Jussawalla, Ph.D Senior Fellow Emerita Telecommunications Economics with Richard Taylor, J.D., Ed.D. and Sunyeen Pai East-West Center Honolulu, HI, USA
Lessons of Investment in Technology Parks And Their Role in Bridging the Digital Divide
INTRODUCTION What investments are Asia Pacific countries making in information technology
parks as part of a national development strategy, and what lessons does this hold for reducing the Global Digital Divide? This paper explores and compares developments in five economies: China, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan/Chinese Taipei and looks at implications for Hawaii. The GDD refers to the inequality, throughout the world, in access to information and communication technology and services. The Regional Digital Divide (RDD) refers to inequalities among nations within a region, for example between fast digitization in Singapore and slow access to information in Viet Nam. There is also disparity within nations. In developed countries the divide is marked by the minorities’ lack of access to sophisticated telecommunications resources (Leahy and O’Brien Intermedia, September 2000 Vol28/5). In less developed countries differences in access often exist between urban and rural areas (Taylor and Jussawalla, 2001). Addressing inequalities in access to information and communications technology (ICT) in an economy requires substantial investments in infrastructure and human resources. The cost of an economy’s not making this investment could be the marginalization of that society in the global economy. The benefit of adopting ICT is that it supports a wide range of human activities and it offers a means of breaking barriers to knowledge, civic participation, and social and economic opportunity (UNDP Human Development Report,.