Transformational potential of technology for development discussed by ICC at India Telecom 2016

  • 14 November 2016
ATA Carnet

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) participated in the 9th India Telecom Conference which took place in New Delhi, India on 1-2 November. Presenting recent policy work, ICC shared business perspectives on how to reap the benefits of emerging technology for all and offered global insights on the ways it can catalyze sustainable development.

Organized by the Indian Ministry of Communications and the Federation of the Indian Chambers of Industry and Commerce (FICCI), the ‘Transforming India’ event gathered business and high-level government representatives to discuss how India can repeat its mobile success story with new “Internet of things” and “machine to machine” technology.

Internet of things (IoT) refers to a variety of sensors that can collect all sorts of data – from movement, speed and direction to air and water quality. Participants considered what policies would help reap the benefits of this technology and discussed application across all sectors, including health, agriculture, manufacturing, education, sustainable consumption, logistics and urban planning.

India is at the cusp of a revolution in its ICT sector with the increasing adoption of Internet of things technologies across the business community.

Chairman of FICCI and Vice-Chair of the ICC Commission on Digital Economy Virat Bhatia said: “India is at the cusp of a revolution in its ICT sector with the increasing adoption of Internet of things technologies across the business community. Prioritization of policy objectives and broader policy development for India will be decisive in the future of its IoT market.”

During an interactive panel discussion, participants highlighted how this technology can impact societies and have catalyzing effects on sustainable development. ICC shared recommendations from the ICC policy primer on the Internet of everything to help stakeholders understand the terms and technical distinctions between Internet of Things, Machine to Machine and the Industrial Internet and the policy principles business and governments should consider with respect to making the most of them.

“Encouraging cooperation between stakeholders and interoperability is crucial,” said Elizabeth Thomas-Raynaud, Senior Policy Executive of the ICC Commission on the Digital Economy. “Proactive policy approaches recommended for business should build in privacy and security by design, while governments must avoid unjustified localization barriers to data flows that will stifle the ability for citizens to realize the full potential of technology in advancing development.”

Safeguarding the free flow of information was noted by several speakers as important to ensuring that benefits of new technology are realized particularly for small and medium enterprises. The ICC policy primer on global data flows was referenced as a useful tool to help stakeholders ensure trusted environments better enable use of ICTs and related data flows which are becoming more and more crucial for the economy.

The ICC Commission on the Digital Economy will be returning to New Delhi from 4-5 April 2017 for its bi-annual meeting. Hosted by ICC India, the meeting will bring together local and global business representatives to deliberate on current and evolving digital policy issues impacting business across sectors and geographies.