Global Information Summit 2003
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Keynote Speech
Dr. Yong-Kyung Lee
President and CEO, KT [Korea]
KT Head Predicts Crossover Of IT and Other Tech

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Yong-Kyung Lee, president and CEO of KT Corp., a leading South Korean telecommunications company, predicted on Tuesday at the Global Information Summit 2003 that IT will increasingly be combined with other technology to create new business models.

The following is a summary of his keynote speech.

While the outlook of the overall world economy is currently dismal, amid mounting geopolitical tensions, the digital sector, including the Internet-related business, is growing steadily. For instance, member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development see the service industry, including data communications, account for half of their gross domestic product.

The IT sector is expected to be increasingly fused with technologies in other areas in the future.

Telecommunications carriers are already working with construction companies to build condominiums which fully utilize the Internet.

Home appliance makers and automakers are jointly developing mobile offices. The crossover of IT and other technology could spawn these new business models one after another.

The digital economy does not only have businesses go online, but will lead to the creation of a totally new social structure or culture. In South Korea, the penetration of the Internet produced "Net citizens" who supported presidential candidates over the Internet.

The challenge facing us is to improve security. As illustrated in the worldwide disruption of Internet access in January, it is essential for the government and corporate sector to join forces to secure online safety.

Digital divide is another problem. But it is certain that the rapid development of new technology will provide businesses with new growth sources.

(The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Wednesday morning edition)

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