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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The impact of emerging information technologies on international trade promotion Dalton, Charles Scott


Two fundamental forces impacting trade and market participants worldwide are globalization and technological innovation. International trade opportunities created by falling trade barriers also intensify competition as a rising number of firms fight for a share of export markets. Advances in information technology (IT) enhance business processes and alter trading patterns. Organizations utilize IT not only as a source of competitive advantage but often as a necessity to their survival. In the midst of expanding international trade and technological capacities, a broad spectrum of organizations offer services intended to improve the ability of companies to effectively enter and compete in international markets. These organizations range from private consultancies focused on specific industry sectors to national trade promoters offering services to firms nationwide, to international institutions working to strengthen global trade in general. A wide range of emerging IT are used by trade promotion organizations. However, budgetary, operational and organizational constraints tend to limit IT adoption by most trade promoters. Like the companies they serve, national trade promotion organizations must assess their IT needs relative to the organization's goals and business processes. This paper examines the impact of emerging technologies on the trade promotion function. Particular emphasis was given to the Canadian government's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) in a case study. Based on interviews with trade promotion officers, various government documents and a literature search, we

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