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Internet Economic Development Assistance For India

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary (Hyderabad, India)

For Immediate Release March 24, 2000

FACT SHEET

President Clinton Announces Internet for Economic Development Assistance for India

In remarks today before representatives of Indian and American information technology companies in Hyderabad, India, President Clinton will announce the inclusion of India in his Internet for Economic Development Initiative (IED), which seeks to help countries close the digital divide between those who have access to information and communications technologies and those who do not. The U.S. Agency for International Development will launch a $5 million, five-year Rural Information Technology Expansion effort to help India utilize the Internet to promote equitable access in under-served rural areas to health and education resources, electronic commerce, and government services. The program will also help promote a policy and regulatory environment to accelerate the growth of India's information and communication technologies sector.

India's potential in information and communication technology is well recognized; India's challenge is to harness these tools for the development of its citizens. The new AID assistance will:

- Provide regulatory and technical assistance and training to create an attractive, pro-competitive environment where the Internet can flourish;

- Mobilize multinational organizations, NGOs, and the private sector to spur the deployment of advanced information infrastructure to remote areas;

- Provide e-commerce training to local regulators, entrepreneurs, and artisans; and

- Foster the development of specific Internet applications, such as tele-medicine, distance education, and better access to government services.

Other countries currently included in the Internet for Economic Development Initiative are: Guatemala, Jamaica, Bulgaria, Egypt, Morocco, Ghana, Guinea, Uganda, South Africa, and Mozambique. These nations are collaborating with the U.S. government, the private sector, multilateral organizations, and non-profits to help them use electronic commerce and the Internet as tools for economic development.

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