Kicking off Telecom World in Geneva yesterday ITU secretary general Hamadoun Touré called on developed countries to move away from charity and work with developing countries on equal terms to make business happen.
The ITU head wants to see companies in the developed world invest more in emerging markets’ ICT sector because there is a strong business case.
To reach its Millennium commitment to connect the world, he said public-private partnerships are essential. “Political leaders, captains of industry and regulators all have to partner to create innovation that expands connectivity and the reach of ICT.”
He said the ICT sector had weathered the economic downturn much better than most other industries and could help fuel the recovery by improving infrastructure and introducing innovation that increases efficiencies. He said two-thirds of new jobs have been in the ICT sector over the past five years.
Touré said the event, last held three years ago, would be held again in just two years to mark its 40th anniversary.
China Mobile chief Wang Jianzhou echoed Dr Touré’s statement that ICT has been one of the major drivers of the economic recovery. He noted that the rollout of 3G networks in China is creating huge job opportunities.
New apps are bringing in new subscribers, he said, giving the example of 40 million people in China now subscribing to mobile news services – something that wasn’t even available just few years ago.