The UK government is to appoint a ?digital ambassador? to spearhead its drive to make the UK the hub of electronic trading.
The announcement was made by the secretary of state for trade and industry, Peter Mandelson, yesterday during the debate on the Queen?s speech, which opens the new session of parliament.
Mandelson recently announced the DTI?s plans to make the country a leading ecommerce nation. He outlined a strategy to boost consumer confidence in electronic buying through proposed measures such as legal recognition of digital signatures, voluntary licences for ecommerce providers and a legal framework to protect consumers online (see Newsire 5 November).
Yesterday, Mandelson admitted that having a strategy was not enough and that the 'Digital Envoy' will be charged with making that vision a reality.
?The Digital Envoy will add a great deal of value to the work already under way. He or she will make regular reports to the prime minister and myself on the government?s progress toward this goal, and look for ways to improve what we are already doing. The envoy will also ensure that UK businesses and consumers are able to take maximum advantage of the opportunities which are opening up,? he said.
The Digital Envoy will coordinate the work currently being done by the different departments and represent the UK on international ecommerce matters.
A job advertisement for the post will appear in next week?s 'Times' and 'Sunday Times' newspapers. The job description is expected to read: ?The person undertaking this role will need to be committed to a full time appointment, be able to command respect in industry, government and internationally, have business experience and be able to demonstrate a thorough, realistic and broad understanding of the potential of the Information Age.?
The salary has not been disclosed but will be broadly equivalent to a top ranking civil servant.
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