In his first major speech since becoming Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Peter Mandelson declared that the UK must lead the way in the world’s digital economy.
Mandelson set out his strategy for ensuring the UK exploits the opportunity presented by the challenge of the single currency and the convergence of broadcasting and telecommunications. `The Euro and the new digital economy will cast a bright, unforgiving light on the uncompetitive,’ he said. `The twin convergence of currencies and technologies will lead to a step change in competition.
`My vision for the UK in this changing world is to be Europe’s digital laboratory,’ he continued. `We must be the test bed for digital products and services in Europe, so that British business can lead the world’.
Stressing that there is a need to know more about the implications of convergence if it is to be exploited to the full, Mandelson added: `My Department will shortly be publishing a comprehensive assessment of the impact of these new developments.’