Speaking at one of the world's biggest telecoms events, Dr. Tarek Kamel, Egypt's Minister for Communications and Information Technology emphasised the key role that developing countries can play in helping the world economy out of the current recession. Joining leading industry and political figures from across the world, Dr. Kamel made a strong case for investment into economies like Egypt that have an abundance of qualified human capital and strong growth potential.
"We must capitalise on this opportunity by working together," the Minister said. "Cutting costs for global players is a given, but there is also a need to seize new growth models. Developing countries have the competitive advantages to support multinationals' strategies for operational cost reduction. But we can also help make the world's companies more efficient, whilst creating new jobs that themselves will stimulate more economic growth for the wider global economy."
There is also a strong need for content creation in the developing world according to Dr. Kamel. "We have been investing in infrastructure for the last ten years, but it is important to recognise that the best business opportunities now, and in the future, are in value-added services such as data and multi-media content. In many developing markets this sort of content is in its infancy. It is therefore going to be equally important for investors in these areas to come into the developing world and establish their content development centers."
Finally, Dr. Kamel stressed the need for ICT to be placed as a national priority on the development agendas of emerging economies. "Our experience in Egypt of placing ICT as a key building block in our overall national growth plans, has paid back both economically and socially. I would urge all my colleagues around the world to make this an urgent top priority."
Dr. Kamel was speaking at a panel discussion on the first day of the ITU Telecom event in Geneva entitled "ICTs for Economic Growth".
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