The World Innovation, Technology and Services Alliance Appoints New CEO

MEDIA RELEASE

May 6, 2022

Contact:          Mr. Yannis Sirros. Mobile: +30 (6) 9 44 77 88 18 E: Yannis@WITSA.org

                         Mr. Dan E. Khoo. Mobile +60 12-650 8392 E: danekhoo@witsa.org

                         Dr. Jim Poisant. Mobile +1 703 728-4547 E: jpoisant@witsa.org

The World Innovation, Technology and Services Alliance Appoints New CEO

 Fairfax, VA:  The World Innovation, Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) today appointed Dato Dan E. Khoo as its new Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Khoo will work alongside Secretary General Dr. Jim Poisant until his retirement on September 30, 2022.

“After many years at the helm of WITSA, Jim will be retiring at the end of September, following the World Congress on Innovation and Technology in Penang, Malaysia, our flagship event,” stated WITSA Chairman Yannis Sirros. “Jim is responsible for leading WITSA to the great organization that it is today, growing the organization and developing our hugely successful WCIT brand. Jim has been a cornerstone of WITSA for over 25 years, and it is hard to envisage a future without his steadfast leadership, marketing skills, and vision. But, in the words of Heraclitus, ‘There is nothing permanent except change’,” continued Mr. Sirros.

“After extensive vetting and a competitive recruitment outreach, WITSA has chosen a uniquely qualified individual in Dan E Khoo, who has previously served as the Chairman of WITSA,” said WITSA Secretary General Dr. Jim Poisant.  “In addition, Dan organized the highly successful World Congress in Kuala Lumpur in 2008, which hosted more than 3,300 delegates from 92 countries, 105 speakers, and over $10 million in sponsorships! He has been involved with WITSA for more than 25 years, first as a speaker at our World Congress in Bilbao, Spain. I am therefore extremely pleased to welcome Dan back to our esteemed organization!” continued Dr. Poisant.

“I am honored and privileged to return to WITSA in this executive capacity. WITSA’s unique alliance of tech industry associations from over 80 countries and economies provides a global platform and an exciting opportunity to impact change on a global scale. I look forward to contributing towards an organization that is the leading recognized voice of the global tech industry, a key driver of digital transformation and the global economy, and an advocate of international public policies that advance the industry’s growth and development,” stated Dan Khoo.

About Dato’ Dan E Khoo:

Born in Penang, Dato’ Dan E Khoo has a lifelong passion for technology, strategy and entrepreneurship. His global outlook is shaped by leadership experience in California’s Silicon Valley, Malaysia, Vietnam and Hong Kong with roles in private enterprise, non-profit and the public sector. Entrepreneurship exits with a trade sale of a tech startup to a Nasdaq-listed enterprise at the height of the dot-com boom and an IPO in Bursa Malaysia came after he led the creation of technology sections in two English-language newspapers. Khoo’s involvement in non-profit organizations led to stints as Chairman of the National Tech Association of Malaysia (PIKOM), Director of The Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organization (ASOCIO), President of the Southeast-Asia Information Technology Organization (SITO) and Chairman of WITSA. He has also served as Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation’s Head of Strategy and as President of MDEC Americas Inc in Palo Alto, California. He has won multiple awards including the WITSA Lifetime Achievement Award and PIKOM Man of the Year.

About WITSA:

The World Innovation, Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) is the leading recognized international voice of the global digital technology industry, whose members from over 80 countries and economies represent more than 90 percent of the world ICT market. WITSA is dedicated to advocating policies that advance industry growth and development; facilitating international trade and investment in digital technology products and services; strengthening WITSA’s national industry associations; and providing members with a broad network of professional contacts.

WITSA members are leaders in a globally interconnected marketplace. Because the challenges facing the digital technology industry are undisputedly global in nature, WITSA members work together to achieve a shared vision on important issues of common interest. WITSA makes it possible for its members – ranging from Mongolia and Argentina to Kenya and the United States – to identify common issues and priorities, exchange valuable information, and present a united position on industry issues. For more information on WITSA, please visit https://witsa.org/.

𝗪𝗜𝗧𝗦𝗔 𝗪𝗘𝗕𝗜𝗡𝗔𝗥: 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝘂𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗪𝗧𝗢 𝗱𝗶𝗴𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗱𝗲 𝗻𝗲𝗴𝗼𝘁𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁’𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗶𝘁 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗶𝗻𝗱𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗿𝘆 (𝗔𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗹 𝟴 @𝟵:𝟬𝟬𝗔𝗠 𝗘𝗗𝗧)

Join us for an update on the WTO digital trade negotiations at 9:00AM EDT on Friday, April 8th, featuring Nick Ashton-Hart, the Geneva Representative of the Digital Trade Network (DTN)! WITSA is working closely with our partners in the DTN to encourage a comprehensive and positive outcome at the WTO Geneva-based e-commerce (JSI) negotiations. To that effect, you will recall that WITSA published a policy statement in support of digital trade rules for innovation and sustainable trade rules (https://witsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/WITSA_Trade_05_May_2021.pdf).

The use of digital commerce has demonstrated a meteoric rise over the past few decades. It was heightened by the rapid uptake and use of digital commerce for both business and social purposes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout this time, regulations governing e-commerce trade have generally not kept up nor been uniform between countries – and as a result, the impacts have been immediate, unevenly spread and been disruptive to both trade and investment. The pandemic in particular highlighted the divide in countries’ ability to take up e-commerce opportunities, due to disparities in internet access and connectivity as well as key digital skills gaps. Unsurprisingly, developed, high income economies was where the e-commerce adoption was greatest. The JSI aims to level the playing field by agreeing a set of common rules across a range of electronic commerce issues including: enabling electronic commerce; promoting openness and trust in e-commerce; cross-cutting issues; telecommunications and market access for e-commerce firms.   

WITSA and DTN encourages the ongoing efforts at the WTO to negotiate a new comprehensive e-commerce agreement, and the Joint Statement Initiative on E-Commerce (JSI) presents a critical opportunity for the global trade body to prove its relevance in the current political environment and could lead to broader WTO reforms as well. WITSA is concerned about the very real risk that the significant achievements in multilateral trade liberalization since 1948 might begin to erode, as nations become introspective and protective in the face of global financial and economic challenges. This is a serious and complex issue for the global business community, affecting not just the future of multilateral negotiations, but – equally important – the future of global trade rule making and dispute settlement.

The event will take place on Friday, April 8th at 9:30AM EDT (time-zone conversions]: Please connect through our GBX platform https://witsa.fxvep.com/b2bmeeting/member/video-detail/14 (please see attached guidelines to set up a free GBX account if you don’t already have one!). if you have any difficulty, you can connect directly at:  https://meet.goto.com/608015133)

WITSA and IT Ukraine Association Applauds Ukraine’s ‘Hidden IT Heroes’, Calls on Support from the Global ICT Industry

MEDIA RELEASE

 March 28, 2022

Contact:     Mr. Yannis Sirros. Mob: +30 (6) 9 44 77 88 18 E: Yannis@WITSA.org

                     Dr. Jim Poisant. Mob. +1 703 728-4547 E: jpoisant@witsa.org

                     Mr. Constantine Vasuk. Mob: +38 099 266 39 03 E: hello@itukraine.org.ua

WITSA and IT Ukraine Association Applauds Ukraine’s ‘Hidden IT Heroes’, Calls on Support from the Global ICT Industry

Fairfax, VA: The World Innovation, Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) and IT Ukraine Association fully support UN Secretary António Guterres and his appeal to President Putin to end the war in Ukraine. “Such unilateral measures conflict directly with the United Nations Charter, which states that all members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations”, said WITSA Secretary General Dr. Jim Poisant.

As an organization dedicated to the peace and prosperity and fulfilment of the digital promise to all by enhancing international trade and the rule of law for nearly 50 years, we stand with the innocent people of Ukraine in these difficult times and encourage the world community to do the same, said WITSA Chairman Mr. Yannis Sirros. “We implore President Putin to withdraw his weapons immediately and work toward restoring a path of dialogue and negotiations to save the people of Ukraine from the scourge of war”, continued Mr. Sirros.

In recent years, Ukraine has made major strides toward becoming a digital nation, with the ambitious goal of transforming Ukraine into a large European IT hub. Even though Ukraine has been entangled in a perpetual war with Russia since 2014, the Ukrainian IT industry has experienced a rapid growth of 36% and the sector has seen a significant influx of new talent. Information technology products and services is now one of the key export industries of Ukraine and, over the past three years, the industry has more than doubled its exports and has boosted its workforce by more than 50%. Many apps, programs and services are produced by Ukrainian companies, and citizens around the world rely on Ukrainian talent and expertise every day. Ukraine’s tech sector grew 20 percent in 2020 and is powered by a tradition of technical education and a recent boom in outsourcing from more expensive countries.

“Having already had reliable cooperation with WITSA beforehand, we are delighted to partner again, this time to provide support to Ukraine in this difficult hour. Currently being the only operating export industry, Ukrainian Tech has been demonstrating its resilience and still keeping its potential to grow. The way the Ukrainian IT businesses are holding up under the conditions of war is very encouraging and I am confident that together with the representatives of the global tech market we will have enough strength and motivation to rise to today’s challenges and to do this with dignity,” said Konstantin Vasuk, Executive Director of the IT Ukraine Association.

It is imperative that the global ICT sector support Ukraine by maintaining business operations and to further invest in and helping build and preserve the burgeoning tech sector in Europe’s second largest country. In particular, corporations that are looking for providers for their projects, as well as those that have divested or suspended their business in Russia should consider investing and finding partners in the Ukrainian tech sector. By supporting Ukraine during the war, clients will most importantly continue to receive their desired products and results.

WITSA and IT Ukraine Association strongly encourage all tech companies to assess the human rights impacts of their business decisions in line with the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

We therefore strongly encourage people from the global tech industry to consider supporting Ukraine through the #StandwithUkraine global initiative. The NGO Techiia Foundation, verified by the IT Ukraine Association, joined the #StandwithUkraine global initiative. The idea is to let public figures and entrepreneurs express their support for Ukrainians via video recorded at the WePlay Arena L. A., which is uniquely decorated as a platform for the #StandwithUkraine initiative. The Ambassador and Consul General of Belgium Gunther Sleeuwagen, IT entrepreneurs Andrei Komarovsky and Ivan Agapchev, the Film Director, Screenwriter, and Producer Roland Emmerich have joined the project already. The IT Ukraine Association calls for entrepreneurs, who would like to feature in the next videos – live from the arena in Los Angeles (USA) or online, broadcasting the video on the screens.

Courtesy of DIGITALEUROPE, a non-exhaustive list of organisations – both international and local – active on the ground which you can support, as well as individual and collective initiatives from the tech and scientific communities to help the people of Ukraine is provided below:

 About WITSA:

The World Innovation, Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) is the leading recognized international voice of the global digital technology industry, whose members from over 80 countries and economies represent more than 90 percent of the world ICT market. WITSA is dedicated to advocating policies that advance industry growth and development; facilitating international trade and investment in digital technology products and services; strengthening WITSA’s national industry associations; and providing members with a broad network of professional contacts.

WITSA members are leaders in a globally interconnected marketplace. Because the challenges facing the digital technology industry are undisputedly global in nature, WITSA members work together to achieve a shared vision on important issues of common interest. WITSA makes it possible for its members – ranging from Mongolia and Argentina to Kenya and the United States – to identify common issues and priorities, exchange valuable information, and present a united position on industry issues. For more information on WITSA, please visit https://witsa.org/.

About IT Ukraine

IT Ukraine is the country’s largest association of IT companies, representing the interests of more than 75,000 IT professionals. Since the Russian aggression, the association has been at the forefront of the industry’s response, coordinating cyber and IT support, partnering with humanitarian organizations, and spreading news and information to counter Russian propaganda.

WITSA Signs Global Industry Letter on Draft Data Transfer Assessment Measures from Cyberspace Administration of China

December 1, 2021

WITSA today signed a Global Industry Letter regarding the draft Security Assessment Measures for Cross-border Data Transfers recently issued by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC).  

The attached letter underscores the benefits of cross-border data transfers to China’s economy and governmental policy objectives. The letter also makes several procedural and substantive recommendations to the CAC.

The ability to transfer data securely across transnational digital networks is of central importance to the national policy objectives of many countries, including China. Data transfers support COVID-19 recovery, digital connectivity, cybersecurity, fraud prevention, anti-money laundering, and other activities relating to the protection of health, privacy, security, and regulatory compliance.

To avoid prejudicing these priorities, WITSA and our partners respectfully submit that the draft Data Transfer Assessment Measures should: (1) not impose greater restrictions on data transfers than necessary; (2) afford equal treatment to Chinese and foreign enterprises, services, and technologies; and (3) be administered in a uniform, impartial, and reasonable manner with a view to ensuring non-discriminatory and streamlined approvals.

The letter is in accordance with established WITSA policy principles. For further information, see our Statement of Policy on Restrictions of the Free Flow of Information Across Nationality/Regional Borders.

The letter is the third in a series of letters that global associations have shared with Chinese authorities in relation to the data transfer aspects of China’s draft Personal Information Protection Law, China’s draft Data Security Law, and China’s Cybersecurity Law.  The two prior global industry statements can be found here and here.

Global Industry Statement on the WTO Moratorium on Customs Duties on Electronic Transmissions

November 23, 2021:

WITSA has today joined, through our Digital Trade Network (DTN), a global coalition of industry associations in urging members of the World Trade Organization to keep the Internet free of tariffs ahead of the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12).

Supported by 73 industry associations active across six continents, the Global Industry Statement on the WTO Moratorium on Customs Duties on Electronic Transmissions urges WTO Members to renew the Moratorium until the 13th Ministerial Conference.

Global Business Exchange

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RESOURCES:
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Contact: If you have any questions about the WITSA Global Business Exchange, please contact larisasiah@wcit2022.com or your WITSA member representative. 

WITSA Calls for Partnerships with Governments to Connect the World

MEDIA RELEASE

  

January 22, 2021

Contact:  Dr Jim Poisant M: +1 703 728-4547 E: jpoisant@witsa.org

Fairfax, VA:  The World Information Technology and Services (WITSA) today published a statement of policy entitled “The Role of Government in Connecting the World – an Industry Perceptive”. The paper makes the case that, in a Digitally driven world economy, the need to fully join the Digital Age is no longer just a smart thing to do, -it is required for a nations’ future. It is up to governments, in partnership with industry and other stakeholders to shape e-commerce and the digital economy by adopting rules that favor the adoption of ICTs and economic growth. In many developing countries, this is an enormous challenge that will involve reforming existing policies, laws and regulations in many areas.

“The pandemic has highlighted the glaring need to bridge the digital divide, both within and across countries, given the crucial role the digital economy has played during the crisis”, said WITSA Chairman Yannis Sirros. “The COVID-19 crisis presents a unique opportunity to improve the lives and livelihoods of citizens. Governments, the private sector, international organizations and citizens must take up the challenge of increasing digitalization and dare to make a difference” continued Mr. Sirros. “The moment is now!”

“Unfortunately, the digital economy is still relatively unchartered territory in many emerging countries around the world, and policies and regulations are failing to keep pace with the ever-accelerating digital transformations taking place”, said WITSA Secretary General Dr. Jim Poisant. “It is imperative that government leaders, in cooperation and partnership with the private sector embraces and employees the use of Digital technologies”, continued Dr. Poisant. “ICT must be at the core all of decision made by government leaders.”

The full statement can be found on the WITSA web site at the following link. 

 About WITSA:

The World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) is the leading recognized international voice of the global ICT industry, whose members from over 80 countries and economies represent more than 90 percent of the world ICT market. WITSA is dedicated to advocating policies that advance industry growth and development; facilitating international trade and investment in ICT products and services; strengthening WITSA’s national industry associations; and providing members with a broad network of professional contacts.

WITSA members are leaders in a globally interconnected marketplace. Because the challenges facing the ICT industry are undisputedly global in nature, WITSA members work together to achieve a shared vision on important issues of common interest. WITSA makes it possible for its members – ranging from Mongolia and Argentina to Kenya and the United States – to identify common issues and priorities, exchange valuable information, and present a united position on industry issues. For more information on WITSA, please visit https://witsa.org/.

WITSA Vice Chairmen: Regions

Note: The country listings below reflect socio-political as well as geographic classifications and are tabled as such exclusively delineate areas of responsibilities among WITSA Regional Vice Chairmen.

Europe: EU/EEA

Country Membership Status
Austria N/A
Belgium N/A
Bulgaria Associate
Croatia N/A
Cyprus Associate
Czechia N/A
Denmark N/A
Estonia N/A
Finland Associate
France Associate
Germany N/A
Greece Member
Hungary N/A
Ireland N/A
Italy N/A
Latvia N/A
Lithuania Associate
Luxembourg N/A
Malta N/A
Netherlands Associate
Poland N/A
Portugal Associate
Romania Member
Slovakia N/A
Slovenia N/A
Spain Member
Sweden N/A
Iceland (EEA) N/A
Lichtenstein (EEA) N/A
Norway (EEA) N/A

 

WITSA Regions – Europe: Non-EU/EEA

Country Membership Status
Albania Associate
Armenia Member
Azerbaijan N/A
Belarus Member
Bosnia & Herzegovina N/A
Faroe Islands N/A
Georgia N/A
Greenland N/A
Israel N/A
Kazakhstan Associate
Kosovo Associate
Kyrgyzstan N/A
Moldova Associate
Monaco N/A
Montenegro N/A
Republic of North Macedonia Member
Russia Member
Serbia Associate
Switzerland N/A
Tajikistan N/A
Turkey Associate
Turkmenistan N/A
Ukraine Member
United Kingdom Member
Uzbekistan N/A

 

Not listed due to small population/size: Andorra, San Marino

 

Middle East/North Africa (MENA)

Country Membership Status
Afghanistan Associate
Algeria Associate
Bahrain N/A
Egypt Member
Iran N/A
Iraq N/A
Jordan Member
Kuwait N/A
Lebanon Associate
Libya N/A
Mauritania N/A
Morocco Associate
Oman N/A
Pakistan Associate
Palestine Associate
Qatar N/A
Saudi Arabia N/A
Sudan N/A
Syria Associate
Tunisia Associate
Turkmenistan N/A
United Arab Emirates N/A
Western Sahara N/A
Yemen N/A

 

Africa

Country   Membership Status
Benin West Africa N/A
Burkina Faso West Africa N/A
Cape Verde West Africa N/A
Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) West Africa N/A
Gambia, The West Africa Associate
Ghana West Africa N/A
Guinea West Africa N/A
Guinea-Bissau West Africa N/A
Liberia West Africa N/A
Mali West Africa N/A
Mauritania West Africa N/A
Niger West Africa N/A
Nigeria West Africa Member
Saint Helena (UK) West Africa N/A
Senegal West Africa Associate
Sierra Leone West Africa N/A
Togo West Africa N/A
Angola Central Africa N/A
Cameroon Central Africa N/A
Central African Republic Central Africa N/A
Chad Central Africa N/A
Congo, Rep. (Brazzaville) Central Africa N/A
Congo, Dem. Rep. (Kinshasa) Central Africa N/A
Equatorial Guinea Central Africa N/A
Gabon Central Africa N/A
São Tomé & Príncipe Central Africa N/A
Burundi East Africa N/A
Comoros East Africa N/A
Djibouti East Africa N/A
Eritrea East Africa N/A
Ethiopia East Africa N/A
Kenya East Africa Member
Madagascar East Africa N/A
Malawi East Africa N/A
Mauritius East Africa N/A
Mozambique East Africa N/A
Réunion (France) East Africa N/A
Rwanda East Africa N/A
Seychelles East Africa N/A
Somalia and Somaliland East Africa N/A
South Sudan East Africa N/A
Tanzania East Africa N/A
Uganda East Africa N/A
Zambia East Africa N/A
Zimbabwe East Africa Associate
Botswana Southern Africa N/A
Lesotho Southern Africa N/A
Namibia Southern Africa Associate
South Africa Southern Africa Associate
Swaziland Southern Africa N/A

 

Asia-Pacific

Country Membership Status
American Samoa N/A
Australia Associate
Bangladesh Member
Brunei Darussalam N/A
Bhutan N/A
Cocos (Keeling) Islands N/A
Cook Islands N/A
China N/A
Christmas Island N/A
Fiji N/A
Micronesia, Federated States of N/A
Guam N/A
Hong Kong Member
Heard Island and McDonald Islands N/A
Indonesia Member
India Associate
Japan Member
Cambodia N/A
Kiribati N/A
Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of N/A
Korea, Republic of Member
Lao People’s Democratic Republic Associate
Sri Lanka Member
Marshall Islands N/A
Myanmar Member
Mongolia Associate
Macau N/A
Northern Mariana Islands N/A
Maldives N/A
Malaysia Member
New Caledonia N/A
Norfolk Island N/A
Nepal Member
Nauru N/A
Niue N/A
New Zealand Associate
French Polynesia N/A
Papua New Guinea N/A
Philippines Member
Pitcairn Islands N/A
Palau N/A
Reunion N/A
Solomon Islands N/A
Singapore Member
Thailand N/A
Tokelau N/A
Tonga N/A
Timor-Leste (East Timor) N/A
Tuvalu N/A
Taiwan Member
Vietnam Associate
Vanuatu N/A
Wallis and Futuna N/A
Samoa N/A

 

North America

Country Membership Status
Canada Member
Mexico Member
United States Associate

 

Latin America

Country   Membership Status
Belize Central America N/A
Costa Rica Central America Member
El Salvador Central America Associate
Guatemala Central America Associate
Honduras Central America N/A
Nicaragua Central America N/A
Panama Central America Associate
Argentina South America Member
Bolivia South America N/A
Brazil South America Member
Chile South America Associate
Colombia South America Member
Ecuador South America Associate
French Guiana South America N/A
Guyana South America N/A
Paraguay South America Associate
Peru South America N/A
Suriname South America N/A
Uruguay South America N/A
Venezuela South America Associate

 

Caribbean

Country Membership Status
Anguilla N/A
Antigua and Barbuda N/A
Aruba N/A
Bahamas N/A
Barbados Associate
Belize N/A
Bermuda Member
British Virgin Islands N/A
Caribbean Netherlands N/A
Cayman Islands N/A
Cuba N/A
Curaçao (Netherlands Antilles) Associate
Dominica N/A
Dominican Republic N/A
Haiti Associate
Grenada N/A
Guadeloupe N/A
Jamaica N/A
Martinique N/A
Montserrat N/A
Puerto Rico N/A
Saint-Barthélemy N/A
Saint Lucia N/A
Saint Kitts and Nevis N/A
Saint-Martin N/A
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines N/A
Trinidad and Tobago Associate
Turks and Caicos Islands N/A
United States Virgin Islands N/A