Former secretary of state for trade and industry Peter Mandelson has launched an attack on the 'institutional conservatism' that is holding UK business back from taking full advantage of ecommerce.
In a keynote address at the World Trade Conference 'Managing Knowledge and Measuring Intellectual Capital', Mandelson, the author of the government white paper on the knowledge economy, attacked the, "burden of complacency and institutional conservatism that is holding back UK businesses from taking advantage of new technology."
Mandelson said: "UK productivity remains poor compared to Europe and the US - Britain simply cannot allow its performance in the 20th Century to be repeated in the next and UK companies are now starting to lag behind both France and Germany in the exploitation of online capabilities whereas once it was ahead of them."
He said: "What companies trade in is increasingly intangible," but warned, "In the knowledge driven age you only have one chance."
Mandelson called for more 'ambitious entrepreneurs', but admitted: "The state has a new role to play - it must behave like an entrepreneur and it must define a new relationship with the private sector."
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