Mr. Ramadorai’s Keynote Remarks-Opening ceremony, 26 May 2008, Geneva
It gives me great pleasure to address you all at this opening meeting of the UN Commission on Science Technology and Development. On behalf of the International Chamber of Commerce, and as Chair of ICC’s BASIS initiative, Business Action to Support the Information Society, and also on behalf of my company Tata Consultancy Services, I would like to thank the Secretary General of UNCTAD, Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, the President and members of the CSTD, and the secretariat, for inviting me to address you this morning, in this August gathering.
ICC launched BASIS in 2006, to bring business experience to the processes and forums established by the World Summits on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva and Tunis. I am pleased to be leading this initiative which brings to global attention business priorities and requirements on Internet governance and ICTs for development. Such business participation is imperative as companies around the world are innovators, key partners in investment and it is their entrepreneurship that is the bedrock for bringing the benefits of the Information Society to more people around the world.
Businesses are increasingly perceiving that “doing well” and “doing good” are one and the same. “Doing good” implies innovating and improving productivity continuously so that the goods & services are affordable by people at even bottom of the pyramid. It was technological innovations that constituted the industrial revolution paving the way for developed nations. The developing societies worldwide depend on innovation as an effective response to problems that they face. The problems include poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and disease.
Low productivity follows poverty. High productivity comes from value creation; value creation comes from innovations that includes technological. The older economies suffered for want of resources, the newer knowledge economy is run by information. The amalgam of innovation and information is the prime constituent of knowledge society.
The penetration of mobile technology is one such instance where it has been estimated that the next billion subscribers are rising from developing nations, just above “poorest of the poor”. There are very innovative technologies coupled with right business models that are persuading the people to embrace this technology for the betterment of their lives. Science & Technology has had a profound influence on advancement of civilisation and improving quality of life and will continue to do so in the future too. Today, the global ICT eco-system is helping to build a more inclusive information society.