Monday, September 28, 1998 Published at 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Mandelson's e-commerce pledge
Mandelson: UK has a unique opportunity to leap ahead
By Internet Correspondent Chris Nuttall
Britain's Labour government says it intends to liberate electronic commerce in order to unleash a fresh industrial revolution.
"I'm determined that our new forthcoming legislation will give Britain the best environment worldwide for Britain to trade electronically," he said. The government will state its intentions in a White Paper on Competitiveness later this year.
Converging on the UK's future
His speech also referred to a Department of Trade and Industry report published on Monday which highlighted key areas in which government and industry had to act "if the UK is to ride this wave of change, extracting economic and social benefit, rather than being overwhelmed."
The conclusions of "Converging Technologies: Consequences for the new knowledge-driven economy":
UK can "leap ahead"
"We should seize the opportunity the knowledge-driven economy offers for the rest to catch up with the best", Mr Mandelson told the conference.
The revolution of the Information age gave Britain a unique opportunity to leap ahead, he said.
"This is an all-pervasive revolution which will reach into every shop floor and office transforming old jobs as much as creating new, West Midlands manufacturer as much as Cambridge science parks.
"My task is to open everyone's eyes to the potential of this revolution and to the new industrial and commercial power that Britain in the 21st century can become".
He joked that it took 38 years for 50 million people to use radio in the US, but 100 million people were using the Internet worldwide in four years and that was before they had ever heard of Monica Lewinsky.