Global Forum 2009



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Items International  Sophia Antipolis Foundation, France  European Commission Visit Items International official website Visit the Sophia Antipolis Foundation website Visit the European Commission website



IT&C Leaders from all over the World Reunited at Global Forum in Bucharest

Bucharest, 20 October: New Broadband and dynamic infrastructures for the internet of the future, e-ID services in a digital world, telecom and internet regulations, e-Health, repositioning the dialogue between Government and Citizen through new media communication – these are just some of the top subjects debated at the 18th edition of the Global Forum, held today in Bucharest. The event gathered top experts and high level authorities from all over the world to discuss about the future of Information Society and technology-based solutions to overcome the economic crisis.

The U.S. Ambassador in Romania, Mark Gitenstein, said that the IT&C sector will help Romania overcome the economic downturn: “There are 50,000 people working in this industry, and salaries exceed the national average. Also, the turnover of companies in this sector amounts to €6.5 billion annually, and the contribution of this sector to GDP is of eight percent,” Mark Gitenstein said.

The U.S. official added that the presence on the Romanian market of the largest companies in the field, such as Oracle, Hewlett Packard (HP), and Microsoft, will give confidence to future investors.

According to Yorgos Ioannidis, CEO Romtelecom, the largest landline phone operator on Romanian market, broadband can be an exit from this crisis: „Romania is still behind the European average in terms of broadband penetration, with a rate of 21 percent in small towns and eight percent in the rural environment. We have a lot of work to do to narrow this gap”, Yorgos Ioannidis said. According to him, Romania ranks 9th in terms of broadband quality, in a ranking which includes 56 countries.

Joao Da Silva, Director for Network and Communication Technologies at the European Comission believes that there is no other hope for development, thus, than via wireless technology: “In many parts of the world, the fixed telecom infrastructure simply does not exist. If private investors do not see interest and return on investment to go to some rural areas, the region should give incentives to the operators to go there”

The Ministry of Communications and Information Society (MCSI) in Romania developed new projects worth a total of €125 million since the beginning of the year, financed from both structural funds and national contribution. €383 million worth of European funds were allocated for the Romanian IT sector between 2007 and 2013, plus Romania’s contribution, of €86 million. The ministry’s target is an 80 percent rate of broadband penetration by the end of 2015.

The President of the Romanian regulatory authority for communications, Catalin Marinescu, said that mobile broadband rose 58% year-on-year in Romania in the first six months of 2009. While the number of users remained the same, voice traffic rose some 34%. In the U.S. and China, implementing and developing broadband mobile interned boosted in only a few years, reaching a 63% penetration ratio, compared to a 6% percent ratio in the U.S. in 2000. As for China, there are in excess of 30 million e-commerce users, while the DSL penetration ratio, the main way to access broadband internet, is nearing 82%.

“The global economy cannot rebound – and become prosperous – without the help of the IT&C segment,”according to Thomas J. Rosch, a commissioner within the US Federal Trade Commission. “For an instance, content is becoming increasingly relevant for consumers, and messages can be personalized based on consumers’ behavior, diagnosed through identifiable personal data,” he said.

Among todays speakers can be mentioned: Gerard Santucci, Head of Unit Enterprise networking and RFID, DG Infso & Media, European Comission; Octavian Purcarea, WW Health Industry Solutions Manager, Microsoft EMEA, France,  Gerard M. Mooney, General Manager, Global Government and Education in IBM - USA; Jacquelynn Ruff, Vice-President, International Public Policy & Regulatory Affairs, Verizon, USA - AT&T and Verizon being the largest operators in the United States and in the world; Yu Xiao Hui, Deputy Chief Engineer, China Academy of Telecommunications Research (CATR), Ministry of Information Industry, China, one of the most powerful ministries in the world; Robert Hensler, State Chancellor in Geneva State, Switzerland, Najat Rochdi, Deputy Director Geneva Office, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Switzerland.

On the 20th of October, the guests and attendants will debate on topics such as: digital content &media of the future, economic growth through IT&C, e-Green and the environmental technologies impact, development of high-speed broadband, Strategies & Policies for Innovative Cities Network, European programs in the benefit of local and regional development.
Global Forum is the world most important IT&C event which gathers every year top specialists and government leading representatives from all over the continents. This year, Romania has been chosen to organize the 18th edition of the Global Forum, after winning a strong competition against the US, China and Switzerland.


Presentation 30.09.2009 (4.5MB)
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Presentation 30.09.2009 (4.9MB)
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Program 30.09.2009 (800Ko)
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