Improvement of technology and consistent demand for efficient services and products has led to an increased demand for ICT products worldwide. ICT goods are goods that are intended for processing information communication through electronic means including transmission and display. ICT products include computer-related equipment, audio, and video telecommunication devices, and other information and communication goods but excluding software. Some countries like the US, China, Germany, Japan, and the UK have adequate capacity, resources, and manpower to produce and manufacture these ICT goods while other countries rely on imports to meet demands for such ICT goods. According to UNCTAD, in 2014 world import of ICT products stood at over $2.1 trillion accounting for 12$ of the world’s imported merchandise. Some of the countries with the highest share of imports of the ICT goods and hardware items include;
43.5% of the total value of Hong Kong imports was ICT goods representing almost half of Hong Kong total trade. The country is also exporting ICT goods mainly to Least Developed Countries. Electronic components were the most imported ICT goods from Hong Kong accounting for 48% of the ICT imported goods. These electronic components were imported from China, Taiwan, and Singapore. Telecommunication equipment was imported from China, USA, and UAE and accounted for 22% of the ICT goods imported. Computer related equipment, audio, and video products were imported from China, Taiwan, Japan, and Thailand and accounted for 26% of the total ICT imports. The country also exported most of its ICT goods to China, Japan, and the USA.
Singapore ICT goods import declined significantly in 2014 from 27% in 2013 to 24.5% in 2015. The drop of ICT imports in the country was treated as an indicator of the slowing economic growth in the country. Singapore recorded the highest import of ICT goods from Asian developing economies such as China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Singapore mainly imported computer related equipment such as a keyboard, desktop, and monitors from China. The country was also the chief exported of several ICT goods primarily to least developed countries accounting for much of its income revenue.
ICT goods imported by Malaysia grew by 0.5% in 2014 accounting for 23.1% of the total import up from 22.6% in 2013. Malaysia is also one of the chief exporters of ICT goods to most of the countries worldwide and ranked position eight overall. Overreliance on the ICT goods contributed to the higher demand for the products. Malaysia mainly imports ICT goods from China and Hong Kong, and these imported ICT goods are mostly electronic components and communication equipment.
Philippines, China, Vietnam, Mexico, Paraguay, and Slovakia are some of the countries which also have a higher share of imports from ICT goods. Common ICT goods imported by these countries are electronic components and communication equipment such as mobile phones and other mobile gadgets. The rate of import of ICT goods is expected to increase in most countries due to the increase in demand and discovery of more sophisticated and advanced ICT equipment. Besides, countries looking for new markets for their ICT goods are also on the rise increasing the size of import.