[AfrICANN-discuss] ICC highlights getting Internet policy right boosts economic growth

Anne-Rachel Inné annerachel at gmail.com
Thu Nov 26 17:05:42 SAST 2009

 ICC highlights getting Internet policy right boosts economic growth Sharm
el-sheikh, 26 November 2009 http://www.iccwbo.org/iccddjgb/index.html
  The workshop was held in partnership with the government of Lithuania

To spur economic recovery and drive growth, there must be awareness among
world leaders to the advantages of getting Internet policy right.

Speaking at a recent ICC Business Action to Support the Information Society
(BASIS) workshop, held in partnership with the government of Lithuania,
panellists determined that leaders were not fully aware of the long-term
benefits and job creation potential of the Internet and other information
and communication technologies (ICTs).

Responding to a question from Ambassador David Gross, former US Coordinator
for International Information and Communications Policy and a partner at the
law firm of Wiley Rein, who attended the workshop, Aurimas Matulis,
Director, Information Society Development Committee under the Government of
the Republic of Lithuania said: “It is easier to convince governments to
engage in short-term projects but more difficult to persuade them to invest
in projects where benefits won’t be seen for years.”

Countering the suggestion that ICTs contribute to jobless growth only,
Joseph Alhadeff, Oracle Vice President, Global Public Policy and Chief
Privacy Officer said that although jobs in the sector initially required
high level skills, the job opportunities further down the line would be
considerable. BASIS member Mr Alhadeff outlined the key elements of an
environment that enables ICT-driven economic growth. He referred to the six
‘I’ elements – infrastructure, innovation, investment, information flows,
intellectual capacity, integration (meaning trade) – that make up APEC’s
Digital Prosperity Checklist. The list aims to help economies determine
whether their policy frameworks are designed to positively impact the
capacity of ICTs to generate value. Mr Alhadeff also brought to light two
“I”s that were often stumbling blocks to success; implementation and

Desiree Miloshevic of the Oxford Internet Institute gave insight into the
effects of the recent economic downturn on Internet Governance and its
process according to initial findings of the Oxford Internet Institute
Policy Forum discussion paper: The New Economic Context of Internet
governance. The survey includes case studies such as the US stimulus bill,
which had played a role in job creation and boosted interest in the sector.

While initial findings indicated that there was no immediate evidence that
the economic downturn had caused any changes or call for changes in the
roles of stakeholders in Internet governance processes, she questioned
whether there would be more regulation or more liberalization as a result of
the crisis.

Ms Miloshevic said that governments in mature markets tended to use stimulus
packages to protect existing industries. She said there was some concern
that emphasis was placed on the national rather than the global level. ''The
Internet is the oil that makes everything run smoothly,'' she said urging
governments to support Internet development and recognize it as an essential
driver of economies she said:

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” said Mohamed Elnawawy, Vice President
for Corporate Stategy at Telecom Egypt, who demonstrated how the private
sector was instrumental in putting in place and maintaining the resilient
infrastructures required for success.

Nermine El Saadany Director of International Relations Division, Ministry of
Communications and Technology, said that Egypt had achieved 14.6% growth in
2008 and had been able to absorb the shock of the financial crisis because
the right Internet and ICT foundations had been laid from the onset. Ms El
Saadany said that open dialogue is a must for the ICT sector. “Governments
cannot stay in their offices without consulting those responsible for
implementing policies,” she said. “We had to think about partnering with the
private sector for its dynamism, experience and flexibility.”

Herbert Heitmann, Chair of ICC’s Commission on E-Business, IT and Telecoms,
and Chief Communications Officer at SAP moderated the workshop. Mr Heitmann
concluded the workshop by saying that though the workshop had highlighted
many promising examples of highly flexible regulations stimulating economic
growth there was clearly a lot more that could be done to bring other
sectors into the loop.

To view the webcast of the workshop, please click

For more information about BASIS, please click
 For further information, please contact : *Ayesha Hassan*
*Executive in charge of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
Tel: +33 1 49 53 30 13
Click here to email the
highlights getting Internet policy right boosts economic growth');>
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