OECD proposes roadmap for the future of the Internet economy


18/06/2008 - The OECD is to work with developed and developing countries and international organisations to improve policies for the Internet economy and increase international co-operation on issues such as cybercrime and security.

OECD member countries, the European Community and ministers from Chile, Egypt, Estonia, India, Indonesia, Israel, Latvia, Senegal and Slovenia affirmed in a declaration their commitment to working together to stimulate innovation, competition and investment in information and communications technology. Their ultimate goal is to build confidence in and secure the future of the Internet economy.

The Seoul Declaration came at the close of the OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Future of the Internet Economy, held in Seoul, Korea, on 17-18 June 2008. Participants agreed on the need for governments to work closely with business, civil society and technical experts on policies that promote competition, empower and protect consumers, and expand Internet access and use worldwide.

“Given that this infrastructure has become critical to our economies and societies, we should all engage in developing better, more broad-based, governance arrangements and policies,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría in the closing session (read full speech).

He called for a new approach to drawing up these policies. “A more decentralised, networked approach to policy formulation for the Internet economy that includes the active participation of stakeholders.”

It had been 10 years since the landmark Ottawa OECD Ministerial Meeting on E-Commerce, he said, but “we cannot talk about the importance of the Internet every ten years which is an eternity in Internet time.” He pledged to review progress on the Declaration within three years. 

The Declaration sets out a roadmap to upgrade the communication policies that have helped the Internet become the economic driver that it is today and ensure that they support its future development. Governments and business should work together to leverage technology more effectively and creatively to help tackle global long-term challenges such as climate change, the Declaration states.  

During the closing session of the Ministerial, the OECD committed to improving statistical indicators to measure access and use of the Internet and its networks in order to provide more reliable data and analysis, notably of the impact of the Internet on economic performance and social well-being.

The OECD agreed to work closely with stakeholders to increase confidence in the Internet, to protect users online more effectively and enhance the fight against cyberthreats through improved cross-border co-operation. The organisation would also assess how OECD instruments related to competition, consumer protection, privacy and security are being applied by governments and business.
For further information, journalist may contact Spencer Wilson, at the OECD's Media Division.