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Global Economic Growth Depends on Informed Internet Policymaking, Business Leaders Tell Internet Governance Forum

November 15, 2009

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ — The future of the Internet is everyone’s concern. As a gateway to abundant resources that can help raise global living standards, the continued evolution and success of the Internet is essential. This was the message delivered today by business leaders to the UN-linked Internet Governance Forum (IGF), taking place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

Addressing over 1,000 participants during the opening ceremony of the forum, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Secretary General Jean Rozwadowski said: “Harnessed appropriately, the Internet has an important role to play in helping to address an array of challenges ranging from economic recovery to climate change.”

Mr. Rozwadowski went on to underscore that a holistic, but distributed, approach to Internet governance was the only way to ensure that the right decisions are made. “No one group can or should address Internet governance issues alone,” he said.

Business is a major investor, innovator and developer of Internet technologies, infrastructures, applications and services that enable users to reap the benefits of the Internet.

Subramaniam Ramadorai, Chair of the ICC initiative Business Action to Support the Information Society, and Vice Chairman of Tata Consultancy Services, stressed that developments in networking and mobile technologies and applications must be underpinned by investments in infrastructure and increased technical literacy. They must also be supported by informed policy frameworks at national level that promote innovation.

“Regulatory frameworks should avoid hampering a company’s ability to compete, which in turn slows innovation,” Mr. Ramadorai said during his opening speech at the forum. “In India we have seen that when policies and regulation support the ability of companies to compete, innovation and entrepreneurship thrive.”

Around the world, partnership programmes and initiatives are helping people in cities and rural areas extend use of the Internet for their economic and social benefit. Business is a key partner in these efforts.

Research by the World Bank published in July this year revealed that a 10 percent increase in high speed Internet connections leads to a 1.3 percent growth in the economy – data that supports ICC’s belief that informed policy choices that enable connectivity and new pathways such as mobile Internet access are a very powerful way to extend economic opportunities.

Herbert Heitmann, SAP Chief Global Communications Officer, and Chair of the ICC Commission on E-Business, IT and Telecoms said: “Many of us already take the opportunities and efficiencies of the Internet for granted. However, there is still a huge untapped potential in this market, one which holds the key to future economic growth on a global scale.”

The economic impact of mobile access to the Internet has been most significant in some of the most rapidly developing parts of the world, according to research published earlier this year by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).

For example, the use of mobile technology in a fishing village near Pondicherry now allows fishermen on land to access optimal fishing zone information, which they use to alert their colleagues out at sea – increasing the day’s catch up to 10-fold.

Meanwhile, the radio taxi industry across urban India has experienced 50 percent annual growth in the past few years, as a direct result of equipping drivers with mobile phones and using GPS to track cars, according to the ICRIER report.

Another study, commissioned by Nokia Siemens Networks, shows that increased access to broadband in the US has accounted for 10 percent of recent productivity growth. The report, published in February this year, adds that if the US had five more broadband lines for every 100 people, the country’s GDP would be 0.5 percent higher than its current 2009 level.

“Mobile access to the Internet provides people, even in the remotest areas, access to vast resources of knowledge and information, and makes best practices available to everybody,” said Lauri Kivinen, Head of Corporate Affairs of Nokia Siemens Networks.

“It also broadens the geographic scope of potential markets, increases choice in the marketplace, and provides access to goods and services that may have been previously unavailable or unknown,” he added.

Business believes that effective Internet related policies create an environment that enables innovation and development, attracts investment, helps build infrastructures for future users and spurs economic recovery and growth. Informed policy frameworks are pro-competitive and consider issues such as the free flow of information, data protection, and security.

ICC BASIS is a strong supporter of the IGF that will take place over the next three days. The forum was set up three years ago as an open platform for businesses, governments, civil society and technical organizations to discuss Internet policy issues.

The IGF enables the development of Internet related policies by allowing participants

to:

  • share ideas and listen to others’ perspectives on an equal footing
  • exchange best practices
  • build human and institutional capacity

The forum’s original five-year mandate expires at the end of 2010, and ICC BASIS is publicly backing continuation of the IGF and its founding principles.

* World Bank report “Information and Communication for Development 2009: Extending Reach and Increasing Impact” can be seen at www.worldbank.org

* The ICRIER’s study “India: The Impact of Mobile Phones” can be seen at www.vodafone.com

* The NSN’s study “Economic Impact of Broadband: An Empirical Study” can be seen at www.connectivityscorecard.org

    For further information, please contact:
    Dawn Chardonnal
    ICC Communications Manager
    Tel: +33 (0)1 49 53 29 07
    Email: dawn.chardonnal@iccwbo.org

About ICC

The International Chamber of Commerce is the largest, most representative business organization in the world. Its hundreds of thousands of member companies in over 130 countries have interests spanning every sector of private enterprise.

A world network of national committees keeps the ICC International Secretariat in Paris informed about national and regional business priorities. More than 2,000 experts drawn from ICC’s member companies feed their knowledge and experience into crafting the ICC stance on specific business issues.

The United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and many other intergovernmental bodies, both international and regional, are kept in touch with the views of international business through ICC.

For more information please visit: www.iccwbo.org

About the ICC Commission on E-Business, IT and Telecoms (EBITT)

Business leaders and experts drawn from the ICC membership establish the key business positions, policies and practices on e-business, information technologies and telecommunications through the EBITT Commission. With members who are users and providers of information technology and electronic services from both developed and developing countries, ICC provides the ideal platform to develop global voluntary rules and best practices for these areas. Dedicated to the expansion of cross-border trade, ICC champions liberalization of telecoms and development of infrastructures that support global online trade. ICC has also led and coordinated the input of business around the world to the World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva 2003, Tunis 2005, and continues this effort in the activities established in the Tunis Agenda through its initiative, Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS http://www.iccwbo.org/basis)

SOURCE International Chamber of Commerce


Source: newswire



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