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This book was prepared as a background document for the OECD Ministerial Conference on "A Borderless World: Realising the Potential of Global Electronic Commerce," held in Ottawa, Canada, in October 1998. It represents one of the very first analyses of the role of electronic commerce in the broader economy, and addresses such issues as the impact of e-commerce on employment and on society as a whole, as well as its contribution to economic growth and efficiency.
The report contends that “[t]he force that drives e-commerce will require a re-examination of the framework for conducting business and a questioning both of the efficacy of government policies pertaining to commerce and of traditional commercial practices and procedures.” It asserts that “[t]he ‘death of distance’ that is intrinsic to information networking is probably the single most important economic force shaping society at the dawn of the 21st Century.”