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Trust and Confidence and the Digital Economy

Canada: Trust and Confidence and the Digital Economy: Issues and Challenges

Prabir K. Neogi and Arthur J. Cordell

Globalization and technological change continue to profoundly affect economic growth and wealth creation. Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) have been a key enabler and driver of globalization, which is likely to continue as trade and investment barriers continue to fall and communications become ever cheaper, easier and more functional. “National” economies, created by the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, will continue to blend into a 21st century integrated, digital world economy, with an increasingly global division of labour.

Every economy requires a physical, institutional and legal infrastructure, as well as understandable and enforceable marketplace rules, in order to function smoothly. In this paper the authors maintain that such an infrastructure must be developed for the new digital economy and society, one which provides trust and confidence for all those who operate in or are affected by it. An infrastructure that is an amalgam based on hardware, software, networks and a way of doing business which offers predictability, dispute resolution, legal recourse, policing powers against fraud,authentication, etc. The building of such an infrastructure is a necessary condition for the development and efficient functioning of a global, digital economy

“. . commerce dies the moment, and is sick in the degree in which men cannot trust each other”. Henry Ward Beecher (1813 – 1887) US clergyman, abolitionist In “Webster’s Electronic Quotebase,” ed. Keith Mohler, 1994.