Productive policies needed to expand Internet, ICC tells OECD

  • 18 June 2008

Maximizing the economic potential of the Internet and information and communication technologies will require not only investment in infrastructure but also policy reform, Subramaniam Ramadorai, Chair of ICC’s initiative, Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS), said today during an OECD Ministerial Meeting on the future of the Internet economy.

Mr Ramadorai, who is also CEO and Managing Director of Tata Consultancy Services in India, said: “Establishing a pervasive and prosperous Internet culture is as much about creating the right business environment as it is about adopting the right technology,” speaking during a round table discussion on the global Internet economy.

“For emerging economies, getting the policy framework right is doubly important,” he added.

Mr Ramadorai said the key elements of frameworks needed for ICTs to unleash their transformative powers include:

“Business, governments, civil society and technical experts together need to shape the policy and regulatory frameworks that support the continued growth of the Internet, which is an important factor in national economies, and the global economy,” he also said, adding: “In some cases, it is the use of best practices that is the right approach and not regulation.”

Ministers from 40 countries, global business leaders, civil society, and technical experts attended the two-day meetings of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which ended today. They gathered to discuss challenges to the future growth and development of the Internet, notably security and competition issues and ways to strengthen the Internet as a vector of social and economic development.

Mr Ramadorai singled out the crucial role of the Internet for developing countries. “Today the web harbors the potential for educational, political, and social objectives, thus offering a new development model for nations,” he said.

Herbert Heitmann, Chair of  ICC’s Commission on E-Business, IT and Telecoms (EBITT) and Senior Vice President of Communications for the global software firm SAP AG, attended the OECD Ministerial events with Mr Ramadorai. ICC members participated as part of the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the OECD.