Ministerial title: ‘Capacity Building for Economic Development’
Thank you Minister Elvan, our host country Turkey, honourable ministers, distinguished participants.
I am honoured to contribute to this event on behalf of ICC and its BASIS initiative, Business Action to Support the Information Society.
For global business, the inclusion of all relevant stakeholders in policy development processes and discussions on Internet-related issues is an important key to addressing challenges, and creating opportunities.
The Internet Governance Forum is a key contributor toward building the understanding and dialogue across stakeholder groups that leads to more informed policy decisions.
The future growth of the world economy lies in the knowledge-based economy, for which the Internet is the chief enabler.
But only about 1 in every 3 people globally is able to go online today.
The vast majority of the 4.3 billion that remain unconnected, live in developing countries and are typically among the world’s poorest and most disadvantaged.
We need to focus on capacity building in order to bring these disenfranchised groups into the digital age and to extend the Internet opportunity to more people.
This is crucial to achieve the transition from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based economy.
ICC BASIS has long upheld the notion that investment in high speed networks and ICT services creates the necessary platform for economic growth, job creation and greater competitiveness.
The proven correlation between the Internet and economic outputs shows that Internet adoption is both linked to GDP growth and that GDP growth in turn spurs Internet adoption.
A recent Deloitte report has found that “increasing Internet access to levels experienced in developed countries” can produce a 72% increase in GDP growth rate in the developing world.
We need to build a better framework for providing the Internet opportunity to those who have yet to benefit.
Encouraging investments in broadband infrastructure
Reflecting the importance that capacity building deserves, policy that enables access to the Internet – access to knowledge – is a key theme at this week’s IGF, here in Istanbul.
Global business strongly supports long-term and sustainable competition through providing high-speed broadband networks to users and through policies that promote market entry and investment to attain the greatest geographic coverage of networks.
Policies should also promote the continued health and growth of industries that create demand for high-speed networks and Internet services, including government services in education, health, energy distribution and transport.
Governments should promote a business climate conducive to investment in broadband infrastructure, services and products enabling higher bandwidth and enhanced service quality. This can be achieved through:
- Ensuring a competitive market
- Ensuring efficient and effective frequency allocation and management
- Promoting access in rural, remote and under-served areas
Multistakeholder model and Closing Remarks
It is precisely because of the multistakeholder model of governance that the Internet has grown into the platform for economic growth that it is today.
We should be proud of what this collaboration has achieved. The Internet has enabled individuals to access information and services, to connect and to communicate, and to share ideas and knowledge globally.
The multistakeholder model – in representing all our voices – is the best way to ensure the creation of policy that maximises opportunities for future Internet innovation – and is the most effective means of informing Internet policy decision-making at government level.
We must all work together, as part of a multistakeholder process, to allow societies to flourish and become economically empowered.
ICC is actively engaged in strengthening the Internet as an enabler of business and economic growth through its Commission on the Digital Economy
ICC created the Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS) to raise awareness among the public, governments, civil society, intergovernmental organizations and technical community of what business requires to continue contributing to the development of the Information Society. BASIS serves as the voice of business in the global dialogue on this topic, following two World Summits on the Information Society (WSIS) held in Geneva (2003) and Tunis (2005).
ICC was founded in 1919 at the end of World War 1 by a group of visionary businessmen who believed that increasing cross-border trade would promote peace and prosperity for all.
ICC is made up of member companies of all sizes in over 120 countries, operating in all parts of the world and in all industry sectors.