Electronic commerce is fast becoming the most dramatic force for change, and opportnity for development, on the economic landscape. The explosive rise of the Internet as a dominant medium for global business interaction is challenging rules and conventional wisdom, requiring governments and businesses to re-evaluate nearly every facet of their traditional practices. For less developed countries and regions, e-commerce provides new potential for expanding markets, both internatll and externally. This potential depends, however, upon the availability of adequate communications and information technology infrastructure, as well as policies that remove barriers to global commerce, and that adapt national laws and regulations in numerous areas -- taxation, tariffs, contracts, labor, privacy, to name a few -- to the new electronic environment.
DNTA has been involved at the forefront of the development of Internet and Electronic Commerce policies for a number of countries and international institutions. We have conducted comprehensive research and policy analysis projects supporting the development of legal and regulatory standards for promoting e-commerce and Internet access, especially in less developed economies. Recent projects have included the following (see also discussion of Telecenters and Universal Access):
International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 8th Regulatory Colloquium, "Telecommunications Regulatory Issues for Electronic Commerce" (1998-99). David Townsend prepared an extensive Briefing Report for the Colloquium, addressing the broad range of general policy and practical regulatory issues arising as a consequence of the growth of e-commerce. (G. Russell Pipe of the Global Information Infrastructure Commission also contributed to this report.) DNTA also prepared a Discussion Paper and survey on e-commerce issues for the ITU in connection with World Telecommunication Day.
South Africa Department of Communication, "Discussion Paper on Electronic Commerce", 1998-99. DNTA worked with an inter-departmental team of the South African government to develop a public Discussion Paper on e-commerce issues, laws, and rules in South Africa. The paper is the foundation for a complete review of the country's laws and policies.
Saudi Arabia, Ministry of Finance, Advice on Options for Internet Policy and Pricing, 1998. DNTA advised the Saudi government on options for the introduction of Internet services in the Kingdom, including market structure and pricing policies in relation to other countries in the Middle East region and elsewhere in the world.
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