Vice-President of Information Technology at Northern Caribbean University (NCU) Dr Michael Reid is urging the Government to do more in the area of research technology and the Internet in order to stimulate growth in the economy.
Reid is proposing that policymakers seek to adopt an "Internet economy" approach as do developing countries to take the nation out of the decades-long anaemic growth path and chart a course for sustainable development.
"People want access to information all the time, wherever they are, and regardless of the device that they are using (mobile, laptop, iPad, android, Samsung Galaxy, Apple, etc.)," said Reid. "Probably the one technology that ties everything together or forms the nucleus for all other research and technology is the Internet."
Reid was the keynote speaker during NCU's Research Week 2013 on Monday at the university's main campus in Mandeville.
He argued that Government and public-sector leaders "ought to promote broader access to the Internet and other related technologies, since Internet usage, quality of infrastructure, and Internet expenditure are correlated with higher growth in per capita GDP".
Recent studies have shown that the Internet has a positive impact on economic growth in several countries. According to a 2012 report by CNN Money, the Internet accounts for 4.7 per cent of the United States and Japan's economy, 5.5 per cent for China, 7.3 per cent for South Korea, and 8.3 per cent for the United Kingdom. The Internet contributes more to the American economy than the entire federal government, according to a new study by the Boston Consulting Group.
"Data warehouses can be built to link databases across the various government entities, thus allowing better data flow, decision making, and business intelligence," said Reid.
He stated that "this initiative would also stimulate more small business investments and would attract more overseas investors to do business here".
"These findings suggest that corporate leaders also will need to sharpen their focus on the opportunities the Internet offers for new products and expanded customer reach," Reid continued.
"Companies should also pay attention to how quickly Internet technologies can disrupt business models by radically changing markets and driving efficiencies."
He said: "Due to the significant impact that research and technology have had on our lives, that impact also replicates in our homes, communities, and eventually our country and our economy. Therefore, it can be concluded that research and technology can and will continue to chart the path forward in nation building and economic development."
NCU's Research Week 2013, under the theme 'Research and Technology: The Vehicle for Economic Independence and Sustainability' started on Sunday and is scheduled to end tomorrow.