Trade and Industry minister Peter Mandelson joined the growing throng of ecommerce activists with a pledge to make the UK a leader in the cyber-trade market.
In his first major speech since he took up the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) post, Mandelson announced plans to push through legislation that will boost growth in the burgeoning ecommerce industry. He was speaking at the ?Wall Street Journal? Europe?s Summit on Converging Technologies this week.
Officials at the DTI said that legislative changes would affect issues such as encryption and security. However, the government?s attempts to provide a legal framework for ecommerce are unlikely to bear fruit for at least another three to four years.
?I want the UK to be globally recognised as the best environment in which to trade electronically,? Mandelson said.
The former ?Minister without Portfolio? promised to build up on existing IT initiatives, such as the National Grid for Learning and the Information Society Initiative, that were rolled out to boost the understanding and use of IT in schools and in business. However, no concrete plan were revealed.
The DTI?s show of support for online trading comes hot on the heels of a handful of reports about confusion in this market. A study by Andersen Consulting (VNU Newswire, 8 September) revealed that European businesses are dithering about adopting Internet commerce and risk losing ground to US competitors. But according to IDC, Europe could soon leapfrog the US in Internet commerce (VNU Newswire, 8 September).
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