Michael Dell, chairman of business appliance maker Dell Inc., encouraged delegates from more than 80 countries attending the 2006 World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) to take steps to embrace the economic and societal benefits afforded by widespread use of information technology.
Dell delivered a keynote address in Austin, Texas, U.S. -- home to approximately 3,200 technology firms and the city where he founded Dell Inc. in 1984.
"While information technology has sparked extraordinary economic and human progress in recent years, it's also true that its potential is only beginning to be met and in many countries its promise has gone unfulfilled," said Dell.
In his speech, Dell addressed the role governments can play in creating a successful IT sector, citing the importance of promoting a high-quality education system, modern technological infrastructure and conditions necessary to attract foreign investment such as tax incentives and regulations that foster, not stifle, innovation.
"As governments open their markets to IT products from other countries, it will give consumers more choices and force domestic producers to remain competitive on price and quality," said Dell.
He highlighted the accomplishments of Malaysia, Singapore, Ireland, and South Korea in attracting foreign investment to help successfully grow their IT sectors. Dell also addressed the role of information technology in crossing cultural and societal barriers.
"As technology becomes more powerful and less expensive, it will contribute to a great leveling effect," he said. "The net effect is to empower people, particularly outside of major developed nations, and to narrow the gulf in computing experiences that would traditionally exist between Austin, Auckland, Amsterdam, or Ankara."
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