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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Internet is essential for economic growth – WITSA

The 2009 Global Public Policy Summit (GPPS) organized by the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) ended in Bermuda last weekend with a 9-point declaration.

Part of the declaration was that the access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the knowledge and information provided by the Internet is an important part of an inclusive information society, therefore essential for broader sustainable economic growth.

WITSA is a consortium of over 70 information technology (IT) industry associations from economies around the world.

A communiqué issued at the end of the meeting also outlined ICT as a proven driver for global economic activity and growth.

According to WITSA, the economic growth generated by the development of the ICT sector will benefit all economies, as such, the public-private partnerships are a critical part in building ICT infrastructure and information society.

They also canvassed for an open trading system between nations free from barriers for ICT products and services.

“We urge World Trade Organisation (WTO) members to reach the compromises needed to achieve a successful conclusion to the Doha Development Agenda with an ambitious and balanced outcome, including comprehensive results in services.

Additionally, WITSA members noted that harnessing the power and benefits of ICT for society will not come automatically.

“Only if business and governments work together with other partners, including their education systems, can people everywhere be assured of access to ICT tools and the knowledge and empowerment they deliver,” part of the declaration read.

The international strategies to tackle climate change need, WITSA said, must make full use of ICT as one of the most powerful tools available, and one of the only ones that could produce dramatic changes without negative effects on prosperity or individual lifestyles.

“With the pressure on global public finances, governments should recognize the use of ICT and technology-enabled change as tools to address their operational costs and efficiencies,” the group said, stressing that the continued success and growth of ICT depends on trust and confidence, while privacy and security should be appropriately integrated into ICT programmes, systems, and products from the beginning.

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