Stakeholders must collaborate more fully in order to bring about the positive policy changes needed to deliver open trade and Internet investment to enhance future economic growth and maintain the free flow of information online. This was the key message delivered today at the opening of the 7th IGF in the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, by Jean-Guy Carrier, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce on behalf of ICC’s Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS) initiative.
Addressing approximately 1,700 business leaders, government officials, Internet technical experts, and civil society representatives attending this year’s IGF, Mr Carrier said: “Business feels more strongly than ever that open trade and investment, respect for the rule of law and regulatory predictability, provide a path to growth and job creation. What’s more, bridging borders through global trade and the economic ties made possible by the Internet, has lifted millions of people out of poverty and contributed to improving living standards around the globe.”
Mr Carrier highlighted the strong correlation between economic growth and investment in the Internet, urging stakeholders to collaborate closely to capitalize on this relationship while working to deliver an innovative, open Internet characterized by the free flow of information. He also spoke about the importance of creating enabling regulatory and policy environments as a path to job creation, stressing that continued multistakeholder cooperation is vital in ensuring effective approaches to Internet governance matters.
“In fostering dialogue, building relationships and bringing together diverse stakeholders, we strongly believe that the IGF provides the necessary arena for collaboration to help solve these issues of common concern,” he said. “This unique approach is helping all of us to advance our understanding and our thinking on possible solutions to key Internet governance policy areas which will help us to achieve an information society that enhances economic and social prospects across the globe.”
In Azerbaijan this year, BASIS members from organizations including AT&T, Cisco, Google, Facebook, Lockheed Martin, Tata Consultancy Services, The Walt Disney Company, Verizon, the World Information Technology and Services Alliance and the Association for Competitive Technology, will join discussions and workshops to provide valuable business perspectives on a range of policy topics – including privacy, security and the free flow of information online – and help raise awareness of what business needs in order to continue contributing to the development of the information society. Designed to complement the main theme of this year’s IGF, ‘Internet Governance for Sustainable Human, Economic and Social Development’, ICC BASIS and several BASIS members will also co-host dedicated workshops that aim to contribute to the multistakeholder dialogue, improve understanding and promote best practice.
Every year at the IGF, ICC’s BASIS serves as the voice of global business in the international dialogue on how the Internet and ICTs can better serve as engines of economic growth and social development. It is ICC’s’ longstanding belief that the IGF’s unique format and founding principles should be protected to ensure that genuine progress continues to be made towards addressing some of the most important global economic and social Internet issues.
ICC BASIS will co-organize the following workshops at IGF 2012:
- ‘Technology, economic and societal opportunities and women’ – Day 1, 6 November, 16.30-18.00, workshop room 4, Baku Expo Centre
- ‘Solutions for enabling cross-border data flows’ – Day 2, 7 November 14.30-16.00, Workshop room 6, Baku Expo Centre