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global_futures 05/99

The Research Group on the Global Future's e-mail newsletter

07.05.1999 · Research Group on the Global Future

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Research Group on the Global Future
Center for Applied Policy Research (CAP)
Munich, Germany

„In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion be enlightened.“

George Washington

(1) CAP Forum: Fidel Ramos on Asia’s Future
(2) Decision Makers 2010
(3) Internet Self-Regulation
(4) Size Matters (E-Commerce)
(5) Battlefield Breakthrough May Close Wounds in a Jiffy
(6) Drug firms collaborating with labs to keep codes public
(7) ICANN Names Testbed Registrars
(8) Noted in Passing



By invitation of the Research Group: Former president of the Philippines speaks about the future of South East Asia.

The financial and economic crisis which has been sweeping over South East Asia since 1997 will have long-term beneficial effects throughout the region: „The crisis is forcing East Asians to change their societies in radical ways, which they would have taken a long time doing within the traditional framework.“ This is how Fidel Valdez Ramos, President of the Philippines from 1992 to 1998, looked upon the future of South East Asia during a lecture he held at the Center for Applied Policy Research on April 19. At the invitiation of the Research Group on the Global Future and the Hanns Seidel Foundation, Munich, Ramos spoke about political and economic prospects as well as security issues.

In his view, the crisis will force national economies to become more efficient and more competitive -- and national politics to become more transparent and more democratic: „In South East Asia, all the affected countries are struggling to reform their politics, modernize their economies, and clean up the cozy relationships between oligarchs and politicians that pollute their corporate cultures.“ Ramos also said to be convinced that the integration of South East Asian countries into the framework of ASEAN would further deepen and thus add to lasting regional stability and a veritable Pax Pacifica. Considering China’s efforts to project its power beyond Mainland East Asia, regional stability would, at the same time, still require continuous security engagements by the US and Japan.



The Research Group on the Global Future has organized a special conference for younger decision makers to discuss problems of global change faced by their societies over the next ten years. Thirty invited guests from a dozen different countries in Asia, Europe, and North America will work together May 10-12 on recommendations for coping with new technologies, population changes and challenges to the existing order. Preliminary results of the conference will come in a special edition of global_futures next week; complete results will be available on our web site by May 25.



In Autumn 1999, ‘Global Business Dialogue on e-commerce’ (GBDe) will arrange its first conference about self- regulation in the Internet. Global Business Dialogue, founded in January 1999, is an amalgamation of over 100 companies from all over the world, among them AOL, Time-Warner, IBM, Bertelsmann, Bank of Tokyo, Vivendi and Hewlett Packard. The GBDe initiative aims to promote self-regulation instead of government supervision for the Internet. Its most import demand is to keep the Internet as free as possible. The benefits of electronic commerce to the world’s consumers and business will only be delivered if government policies recognize the dynamics and global nature of e-commerce developments.




Wondering where standards and practices for electronic commerce will emerge? Look no further than the United States. Despite e-commerce’s worldwide potential, the US market is still far and away the biggest, as the three stories below make clear. Intel expects to earn more per month in 1999 on internet sales than the entire Japanese economy, the world’s second largest, generated in the whole year of 1998.

All of Latin America is not expected to reach this level even four years from now. E-commerce may be global in reach, but until the size of other markets increases, it will remain very American in character.

Intel: Intel Sells USD1 Billion Online Per Month

Internet sales now account for 40 percent of Intel's total sales, generating USD1 billion in revenue per month. The revenue generated online is higher than had been expected in the fourth quarter of 1998, when the company predicted that it would sell USD830 million a month in 1999.

Based on the current figures, the company expects online sales to account for 42 percent of the total revenue by the end of the year. Overall, Intel reported first quarter revenue of USD7.1 billion.


Daily Yomiuri:Japanese Ecommerce to Top 1 Trillion Yen

In Japan, business-to-consumer ecommerce is expected to generate over 1 trillion yen in revenue by 2003, according to a survey by the International Trade and Industry Ministry and Andersen Consulting survey. This represents a 50 fold increase over its 1998 value of 65 billion yen.

The travel, automobile, and computer industries are expected to account for much of the growth. The travel industry alone will generate in the region of 910 billion yen. The number of orders sent, received and settled online is also expected to increase dramatically, generating over 68 million yen, more than seven times its 1998 value.

In 1998 business-to-consumer trade accounted for .02 percent of the total household expenditure in Japan. While the next five years will see rapid growth in ecommerce, such trade will still account for just 1 percent of overall household expenditure.

IDC Research: Ecommerce Boom Ahead for Latin America

Ecommerce in Latin America is expected to generate USD8 billion by 2003, up from an estimated USD170 million in 1998, according to a report by IDC Research. Business- to-business sales are expected to generate USD6.1 billion of the total revenue, while business-to-consumer sales are expected to generate USD1.9 billion. The report predicts that Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela will be he countries with the strongest individual ecommerce markets.

At present, Latin American users spend an average of USD53 per month on service fees and local phone charges, double the amount spent by US users. This necessarily reduces the time that users spend online, which in turn minimises their likelihood of buying online, according to IDC. The high cost of Net access and poor infrastructure means that just one-fifth of the PCs across the region are connected to the Internet.

IDC estimates the in 1998, 74 percent of money generated by the Latin American Internet economy went to businesses outside of the region, primarily to the US.




A bandage that was originally designed for the battlefield, where blood loss accounts for half of all deaths, might soon turn out as a useful application in emergency medicine. The secret is a meringue-like foam of blood-clotting proteins that is freeze-dried onto a cloth backing. When the proteins contact blood, they turn to a gooey papier-mâché that gels to form an instant scab. According to the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, D.C., you can tear the package open, push the bandage into the wound, and the bleeding, even major arterial bleeding, will stop almost immediately.

Since the proteins are derived from hard-to-come-by human plasma, the first commercially available version of the bandage will cost about $ 1,000. However, the price is expected to go down significantly, as scientists are working on how to produce the protein in cows, which can in turn be cloned.

(Source: Outside Magazine, April Issue)



Ten of the world’s largest drug companies are joining forces with five of the leading gene laboratories. The alliance, announced in Chicago in mid-April, particularly aims to decode many of the tiny genetic differences that underlie the diversity of the human race. It is also partly designed to ensure that upstart biotechnology companies do not patent discoveries about important genetic differences, thus locking out competitors that want to create drugs based on that information. The companies involved in the consortium are AstraZeneca PLC, Bayer AG, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, F. Hoffmann- La Roche, Glaxo Wellcome PLC, Hoechst Marion Roussel AG, Novartis, Pfizer Inc, Searle, and Smith-Kline Beecham PLC.

The five gene laboratories will be hired for a two-year research program. Their research will be made available on the Internet and in other forums at least every three months so that the results would be kept in the public domain.

This concept of keeping the genetic codes public is in line with the Human Genome Project, the international undertaking which intends to produce a complete map of humanity’s genetic heritage not later than 2003. The map will represent no single human being, but rather a sort of average while the drug company project aims to discover many of the differences that influence whether people get cancer, heart disease, stroke or other ailments.

(Source: International Herald Tribune, April 16th)


(7) The Domain Name Game: ICANN Names Testbed Registrars

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has selected five "testbed" registrars to participate in its upcoming trial of a competitive domain name registration system. The five companies were chosen from a pool of 31 applicants for their "diversity in geographic reach, language capabilities, and business models," according an ICANN statement. The chosen ones include the non-profit Internet Council of Registrars (CORE), based in Switzerland (www.corenic.org); France Telecom/Oléane (www.francetelecom.fr and www.oleane.net); Melbourne IT, based in Australia (www.melbourneit.com.au); American super portal AOL (www.aol.com); and New York- based register.com (www.register.com).

The testbed period runs from April 26 to June 24, after which the Shared Registry System for .org, .net , and .com will take full effect. Any company that meets ICANN's standard for accreditation will be allowed to enter the market and become a registrar. So far, 29 other companies, including AT&T, have met ICANN's criteria and will become registrars after the completion of the testbed.

"No one knows exactly what will happen" during the testbed period, says register.com Director of Marketing Sascha Mornell. He says his company is equipped "more than any of the other registrars" to go live, but that "the real issue is the integration between NSI as a registry and register.com as a registrar. That may take a few weeks of give-and-take to get all the bugs out of the system. It's a question of two systems talking to each other and integrating."

Source: Silicon Alley Reporter, April 22, 1999



Ars Electronica is hosting a net-symposium as an introduction and complement to this year's Festival symposium which will focus on the subject of Life Science and will be held on September 5 and 6, 1999 in Linz, Austria. The net-symposium consists of a mailing list which started April 20,1999 and is moderated by Dr. Birgit Richard, professor of New Media at Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universitaet in Frankfurt. It also features an online magazine on the Life Science site conceived by Oliver Frommel. Subscribe to the mailing list by sending mail to majordomo@aec.at with the line "subscribe lifescience-en your.email@domain.com" for the English language version. For the German language version send "subscribe lifescience-dt your.email@domain.com" to majordomo@aec.at. You may also use an online form to subscribe to the mailing list (http://www.aec.at/lifescience/magazine/subscribe.html). Over the course of the net-symposium, Ars Electronica will make the best submissions to the mailing list available as permanent resources in the magazine.



global_futures also offers an interactive forum. Recommendations,letters, and tips are welcomed by the editors, particularly on the topics of the digital future, biotechnology, sustainability and the new economy. Send all feedback to fgz@lrz.uni-muenchen.de.



Douglas Merrill, Patrick Meyer, Juergen Turek, Markus Vorbeck
Research Group on the Global Future
Center for Applied Policy Research
Geschwister Scholl Institute
Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich