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Oranjestad, 19 November, 2012 - As the seventh Internet Governance Forum (IGF) closed on November 9, 2012, ICC BASIS (Business Action to Support the Information Society) members highlighted that market-focused enabling policy frameworks are key to driving Internet innovation and economic growth. Highlighting a need to enrich the Internet governance debate, business believes that inclusive participation and the multistakeholder approach are the most effective ways to promote and protect these policies.

Speaking during the Forum’s closing ceremony, ICC BASIS member Jeff Brueggeman, VP Public Policy and deputy Chief Privacy Officer, AT&T, said: “The Internet is a hugely powerful economic force and has a direct, positive impact on job creation, trade, competitiveness, and economic development – both for small and large enterprises, and for mature and developing economies.”

Under the theme ‘Internet governance for sustainable human, economic and social development,’ some 2,000 registered participants met in Baku to join open discussions on some of the most pressing challenges pertaining to Internet governance today – from privacy, infrastructure deployment and innovation in mobile technologies to the free flow of information online.

With forthcoming UN deliberations in the General Assembly in mind, Mr Brueggeman highlighted that the IGF is a model for positive, effective collaboration and that this multistakeholder process is key to maintaining a transparent Internet. Noting that multistakeholder participation in the WSIS +10 review process is critical to continuing open dialogue, he concluded that now is the time to enrich the debate about participation in Internet governance if the Internet is to remain ‘one of the world’s greatest human, social and economic resources’, and that, through innovation, investment, and enabling policy frameworks, the Internet can continue to enrich the lives of billions of people globally.