HC Deb 11 May 2000 vol 349 c445W
Mr. Flight

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps his Department is taking to promote e-commerce; and if he will make a statement. [120507]

Ms Hewitt

The Government have put e-commerce at the heart of their vision for building a competitive, modern, knowledge-driven economy, and the DTI plays a leading role in realising this.

In September 1999, the Prime Minister launched the report 'E-commerce@its.best.uk' which set out the Government's strategy to make the UK the best place in the world to trade electronically. This strategy is based on: Ensuring that we have the right regulatory environment and market framework to allow e-commerce to flourish in the UK. Preventing a digital divide by ensuring that we have the level of skills and access to enable businesses and individuals to make full use of the new technologies. Ensuring that Government act as an exemplar by getting their own services online.

Specific actions taken by DTI as part of the strategy to promote e-commerce include: The 'Information Society Initiative', aimed at increasing the usage of e-commerce by small businesses. Measures to promote consumer confidence when trading online. The Electronic Communications Bill, which gives legal recognition to electronic signatures and encourages an industry-led system of self-regulation. Helping all communities get access to the new technologies through the 'IT For All' programme.