Keeping the global ICT marketplace on course is the mission of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA), WITSA is dedicated to advocating policies that advance the industry’s growth and development; facilitating international trade and investment in ICT products and services; and strengthening national ICT industry associations through the sharing of knowledge, experience, and critical information. As the global voice of the ICT industry WITSA believes that ICT products and services should be regarded as an important tool for economic development. It also believes that the liberalization of ICT markets helps economies to expand existing activities and develop new export opportunities. ICT will not only promote innovation in other industries but innovation in the ICT industry itself will create new value. Thus ICT plays an invaluable part in the ongoing efforts to overcome the current economic crisis. WITSA's Policy Action Program is spearheaded by Mr. John Higgins, CEO of The U.K. Information Technology, Telecommunications and Electronics Association (INTELLECT). Mr. Higgins Chairs the WITSA Global Policy Action Committee and is responsible for WITSA's public policy activities and programs.
WITSA Public Policy Report
See the WITSA Public Policy Report for an overview of WITSA's positions on key trade issues [Link]. Under the Chairmanship of John Higgins (Intellect), WITSA has refocused its Public Policy committee efforts to become more proactive, reflected in a committee name change to the Global Policy Action Committee (GPAC). The GPAC strategy for 2010-11 was developed for, and approved at, the WITSA Annual Meeting in May 2010. This strategy comprises four (4) key components: I. The overall objective of WITSA’s global public policy activities is restated in terms of an umbrella objective of promoting the relevance and importance of ICT in global development. This is best summarized in WITSA’s new tagline: Fulfilling the Promise of the Digital Age. Expressing the objective this way removes the “supplier” self-interest, which distracts the attention of governments. This overall objective is expressed in three (3) subsidiary contexts: economic, social and cultural. The development of each of these is enabled by ICT. All contribute to global development. Equally, development of these three objectives also expands the global ICT market. II. A major study of the economic impact of ICT has been proposed by the GPAC (WITSA), with a competitive process to select a research contractor/s underway. This study would be funded by sponsorships from global ICT firms. While a number of economic impact studies exist, these represent partial analysis – microeconomic or macroeconomic, not both – and do not examine the overall role of ICT in modern economic theory in detail. Most importantly, the social and cultural impact of ICT has not been studied methodically. Critically, none of these studies are “owned” by WITSA or the ICT industry, globally. The study is intended to provide WITSA with the evidential base to support policy positions. In particular, the study is intended to have the prominence to facilitate engagement with significant policy decision-makers such as the G20. III. WITSA will engage and support the leadership and resources of its regional associations, by developing, delivering and maintaining key ‘roadmaps for development’ outlining the role of ICT in key areas, such as economic development, health, education, environmental sustainability, transparent and accountable government, and ICT safety and security. Each roadmap to be based on a common framework/design, and intended to cover address issues faced within the development spectrum of WITSA members. IV. Engaging active WITSA member participation and ongoing support through information sharing to promote ICT development in emerging economies through the UN eMDG Best Practices ICT portal. Examples of the types of contribution already exist via the “Call to Action” portal established for WCIT 2010. Each component of WITSA’s public policy strategy: