Ráðstefna um Ísland sem tilraunasamfélag fyrir rafræn viðskipti.


Valgerður Sverrisdóttir,
iðnaðar- og viðskiptaráðherra.

Ávarp á SARÍS-ráðstefnu um Ísland
sem tilraunasamfélag fyrir rafræn viðskipti,
29. apríl 2003.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Sometimes it is said that we icelanders are too few to accomplish something remarkable in the big world. But in my view, this main fact can be a huge advantage. Here in Iceland we have a relatively small economy. However it is politically stable and technologically developed. We have a business community which consists mainly of small and medium sized enterprises. We also have a government, which is very committed to the development of e-commerce. We have a transparent legal framework for e-commerce. And we have a community with a highly sophisticated technical infrastructure, and computer literacy.

And I could go on.

But why am I telling you all these obvious facts? That}s because all these facts about Iceland contribute to the conclusion that Iceland is an excellent example of possible test-bed for e-commerce. And Iceland as a test-bed for e-commerce is a way forward - is a way for Iceland to become an example for other bigger communities in Europe in how to e-commercialise.

Therefore, we in the ministry of industry and commerce took initiative in supporting the test bed project here in Iceland. We think that it is a highly interresting project and in line with what we have been doing in the past in the field of e-commerce.

In the 1990}s, when e-commerce was a new form of doing business, the ministry of industry and commerce did its best to introduce this new method to the business community in Iceland. Later, we focused on the legal framework in this field. In that regard, we made a research of the possible legal hindrances in relation to e-commerce.

The outcome of the research was that there were no such obstacles. However, it was stressed that the ministry would follow the development in Europe in this field. And so we did. We have since implemented both the directive on digital signatures and the directive on e-commerce.

We therefore think that the legal framework in Iceland on e-commerce does not impose obstacles for doing business electronically. We however think that it will be very interesting to take part in the test-bed project, and see whether we can imporve the framework for e-commerce in iceland. Also, we find the project to be well in line with our Regional Policy in which it is emphasised, that the information technology should be used, in order to stimulate the development in regional areas.

It is a pleasure to inform you that last week, I introduced a memorandum to the Icelandic government, which lead to a statement of support to the test-bed project from the Government of Iceland. I do hope that this significant support by the Government of Iceland and by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce will lend a hand to the project of Iceland becoming a test-bed for e-commerce.

I would like to take this opportunity in welcoming our foreign guests at this conference. It will be highly interesting to listen to them as well as the Icelandic speakers. I hope that this conference will be a milestone for the development of the test-bed project in Iceland.

Thank you.

Valgerður Sverrisdóttir