The 29-nation Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) concluded its Internet and business conference in Finland on Friday, with delegates and business no wiser about governmental strategies on ecommerce and taxation.
?Dismantling Barriers to Global Electronic Commerce? was rich in rhetoric, echoing many of the directions advocated by US President Clinton last month. The OECD released a statement saying: ?Businesses are the leading force... and where the market cannot solve problems, and where there is public interest governments will act in close cooperation with businesses. Government action should be precise, minimal and transparent.?
Following the US lead, the OECD is wary of thwarting Internet growth, but it has not recommended specific legal or fiscal frameworks, nor defined the respective roles of state and private enterprise.
The OECD did announce 10 guiding principles prior to the conference and it hopes to see them adopted by governments before a ministerial meeting in Ottawa next year (see previous stories). The guiding principles will form the basis for this next round of proposals on Internet taxation, cryptography, consumer protection and self-regulation.
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