Industry to lead UK’s push into the e-commerce world

Business will have the chance to air its views on the government’s e-commerce strategy, the UK’s new e-envoy Alex Allan has announced.

Allan, who becomes the first person to hold the newly created role, has set out his priorities for driving e-commerce forward, including talking regularly to industry.

He said the government hopes to implement widespread changes based on proposals in last year’s report by the Cabinet Office’s Performance and Innovation Unit E-commerce These proposals will be implemented in a working partnership with business, as it is industry that will be at the sharp end of rapid technological developments, he said.

Allan warned that electronic commerce will have a profound effect on business, and that the UK needs to lead that transformation. `This is a fast-moving world, and the UK cannot afford to be left behind,’ he said.

Allan, who will report directly to the prime minister, will also work closely with so-called `e-minister’, Patricia Hewitt, to implement the government’s strategy.

He will publish monthly reports to the prime minister on his website, and is launching a new on-line process of continuous consultation with industry and the general public.

Allan, a former principal private secretary to the prime minister, was until recently the British High Commissioner to Australia.