UK trade and industry secretary Peter Mandelson said yesterday that his department must boost consumer and business confidence in ecommerce, as it holds the key to global competitiveness.
?In the next century, the Internet will become the universal medium of trading and commerce,? he said. ?We need to be ahead of the game to ensure that our systems are up to date and that our businesses know of the opportunities available to them. That is why the successful development of a business environment in which ecommerce will flourish will be one of my main tasks at the DTI.?
Plans from the Department of Trade and Industry to encourage trading on the Internet will be a crucial part of the forthcoming white paper on competitiveness.
Legislation will play a major part in this campaign and will include - as revealed last month (see Newswire 26 October) - the legal recognition of electronic signatures, voluntary licences for ecommerce service providers and measures to ensure confidentiality for those using the system.
?Electronic commerce will be a major driver of growth and productivity in the new millennium, and the UK has to be at the forefront of that revolution. That is why my department has said that we will bring forward legislation to boost ecommerce,? explained Mandelson.
To build consumer confidence in ecommerce, Mandelson said the DTI will establish a framework to protect customers from disreputable traders. The department will also work across the globe to preserve free trade on the Internet.
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