High-Level Panel Urges Action to Spur Widespread ICT Use


HANNOVER, GERMANY - Ministers and CEOs from some of the world's largest information and communications technology (ICT) firms met on the sidelines of CeBIT, the world’s largest trade fair showcasing digital IT and telecommunications solutions for home and work environments, to encourage governments, business and civil society to work together more closely and set up the diffusion of ICTs worldwide, a press release by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) stated.

"We call on political leaders, business executives and other interested stakeholders at the very highest levels to make increased ICT use a top Priority,” said German Federal Minister of Economics and Technology Michael Glos.

The meeting attracted an impressive array of panelists

The Ministry of Economics and Technology sponsored the high-level roundtable with the ICC, ICC Germany and CeBIT.

The panel was assembled to help raise awareness of the urgent need to integrate ICTs into the fabric of daily life in all parts of the world and to maximize the potential of ICTs as a driver of economic growth and innovation. One of the future challenges will be to create a favorable environment that stimulates investment by business in the ICT infrastructure.

Stressing the need for exploring concrete ways to boost ICT use in the developing world, Chairman and CEO of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAGorg) and Chair of ICC’s Commission on E-Business, IT and Telecommunications as well as the Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS), Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, said, “Initiatives which pool the resources of business, government and NGOs will be an important component of any efforts to deliver the benefits of the information society to many more citizens in these countries.”

The panelists discussed challenges to the further development and integration of these technologies; training, educating and attracting the most qualified talent; enlightened policy and legal frameworks; and joint business-government initiatives to accelerate ICT diffusion and development.

The panelists, from 10 countries, include:

- Michael Glos, German Federal Minister of Economics and Technology

- Marcus Wallenberg, Chairman of ICC, Chairman of Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken and Vice-Chairman of Ericsson

- Bill Nuti, CEO of NCR

- Henning Kagerman, CEO of SAP

- René Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom

- Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, Chairman of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAGorg)

- Kan‘ichiro Aritomi, Japanese Vice-Minister for Policy Coordination of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

- Tarek Kamel, Egyptian Minister of Communications and Information Technology.

"We committed to return home and discuss these critical issues with our counterparts in government, business and civil society to ensure they are equipped with better information when drafting policies and legal and regulatory frameworks,” said Wallenberg, who moderated the panel discussions.

The high-level panel is part of an ongoing global dialogue on creating an environment where ICTs will thrive. This includes finding ways to implement an action plan adopted at the UN World Summit for the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis (2005) and Geneva (2003). WSIS pledged to bring these technologies within the reach of all the world’s citizens by 2015.

CeBIT is the leading business event for the digital world. Deutsche Messe AG has organized CeBIT in Hannover each spring since 1986.

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