The International Chamber of Commerce said it backs EU and US moves to coordinate global governance of the Internet, and issued a warning against fragmented regulation.
The Paris based ICC has handed a set of guidelines on electronic commerce to European IT and telecomms commissioner Martin Bangemann. It believes this market will reach $20 billion in value by 2000.
ICC secretary general Maria Livanos Cattaui said: "There is an evident danger that fragmented regulation by national governments could severely hamper the development of a marketplace in cyberspace."
The guidelines were delivered to Bangemann yesterday by a group from 100 European companies led by ABN-Amro Bank's Jaap Kamp, who urged Bangemann to work closely with business on this issue.
The group recommended an architecture for electronic commerce; standards for product information and marketing; the exchange of legally binding documents; payments systems; and rights and responsibilities in the electronic marketplace, it said.
The Kamp report urges governments to adopt a "minimalist" approach to regulation, focusing on removing barriers, implementing competition and enforcing intellectual property rights.
The ICC has already issued guidelines for ensuring trustworthy digital transactions over the Internet and is working on a global Internet advertising code, due to be published in April.
Other projects in the pipeline include model electronic sales contracts, legal solutions for privacy protection dispute resolution and rules for electronic trade.
Cattaui said the OECD's ministerial meeting on electronic commerce in Ottowa in October would be "crucial" in making global governance of the Internet a reality.
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