ICC gives business views on convergence at OECD summit

  • 16 June 2008

As policymakers from over 40 countries gathered here at an OECD Ministerial summit to discuss the trailblazing impact of the Internet and information and communications technologies (ICTs) on the economy and society, ICC shared global business views and provided guidance on digital convergence.

Ministers, global business leaders, academics, and technical experts are participating at the two-day summit entitled, “The Future of the Internet Economy,” 10 years after the OECD’s last forum on this topic. Several ICC members are participating through the OECD’s official representative body, Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC).

“The world has changed more in the last 10 years than ever before. No factor has driven or enabled this change more than ICT and its influence on society, business, government and the individual,”   said Herbert Heitmann, Chair of ICC’s Commission on E-Business, IT and Telecoms (EBITT) and Chief Communications Officer for global software maker SAP AG.

“Moving forward, it remains our collective obligation to ensure the best possible use of ICTs for the benefit of society and the economy,” he added.

Mr Heitmann spoke today at the summit’s business stakeholders’ meeting.

In a policy statement published today, entitled “Digital convergence: an economic opportunity,” ICC highlighted the benefits of convergence, while making recommendations for policymakers to help them avoid unintended consequences.

“Digital convergence covers far more than just how devices and networks interoperate. It includes the emergence of new services and business models, and the impact ICT developments and the Internet have in changing those relationships,” said   Gordon Moir, General Counsel, British Telecommunication Retail and Chair of the EBITT task force responsible for the statement.

”There are challenges, but the benefits are numerous, including a boost in creativity and innovation and the spreading of ICT-fueled economic growth,” he said.

Mr Moir noted that companies operating in this arena are looking for global policies that foster rather than crimp this momentum and   stressed the importance of consulting stakeholders and following ICC’s key recommendations.

ICC called for policymakers to: