OECD Conference
Adopts Seoul Declaration
on Future of Internet Economy

Participants warn of the side effects of the Internet

Policymakers from the developed countries adopted the Seoul Declaration on the Future of the Internet Economy as they wrapped up the two-day Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Ministerial Meeting in Seoul on June 18.
More than 40 ministers from around the world as well as authorities from international organizations and the global information and communication technology industry (ICT) gathered in Seoul for the meeting on June 17-18.
The conference had a plenary session and three roundtable discussions on "Improving Economic Performance and Social Welfare, Benefiting from Convergence and Promoting Creativity."In a speech at the opening of the ministering meeting, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak warned that Internet progress could be a double-edged sword even if building an Internet-driven world is desirable. He cited the potential harm to society, saying,

"Spam and other online risks undermine the confidence people have in the Internet and this damages trust in e-commerce, and the spread of false and inaccurate information is paralyzing rational reason and confidence."OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria said in his opening session speech, "It is equally essential to support the Internet as a platform for innovation, an open platform that dramatically lowers the barriers to creativity, experimentation and collaboration. And we must promote competition and protect and secure this infrastructure. Cyber-crime has become a multi-billion dollar industry; and it will keep growing if we don't stop it." "With a multidisciplinary knowledge base, 25 years of experience working on ICT issues and a growing capability to promote the dialogue between developed and developing countries, the OECD can be an ideal platform to convert the Internet into an effective tool to make the world economy work better." "It is already an amazing social and economic force. There are about 1.3 billion regular users in the world. The Internet Economy accounts for some 20 percent of OECD GDP. Global trade of ICT goods accounted for nearly $2 trillion in 2006,"he said.
He added, "It is a great honor to open the OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Future of the Internet Economy in Korea. Korea has one of the highest "broadband connectivity"rates in the world. It holds the second highest share of ICT in value added among OECD countries."Choi See-jung, chairman of the Korea Communications Commission, and the chair of the conference, said hacking, identity theft and other risks have resulted in global losses of $12.7 billion for the Internet economy.
Chey Tae-won, chairman of SK Group, predicted that digital convergence will raise Internet connectivity to a new level, allowing people to enjoy diverse Internet-based services as they want, saying that the convergence of broadband mobile and Internet will be a driving force of the Internet for the next 10 years.
KT CEO Nam Joong-soo said, "In the next few years, beyond the physical convergence of devices and networks, we will see a new form of chemical convergence, integrating knowledge networks and social networks. I sincerely hope that this Seoul Ministerial Meeting will realize the vision of creativity, convergence and confidence." nw

(above photo) Ministers from Asian and European countries participate in the two-day Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Ministerial Meeting in Seoul. Choi See-jung, chairman of the Korea Communications Commission, and the chair of the conference, speaks at the opening ceremony of the conference.

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