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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
3003 N. Charles Street, Suite 100
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-3843
Phone: (410) 516-7160 | Fax (410) 516-5251

August 27, 2001
CONTACT: Jeff Anderson


A consortium of business leaders from around the globe has been working quietly to face some of the more nettlesome questions raised by the explosion of global e-commerce. The Global Business Dialogue on e-Commerce, or GBDe, has not been the subject of much media attention.

Maria Green Cowles, the Robert Bosch Foundation Research Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, has completed the first scholarly look at this organization and says it is poised to play an influential role in such issues as Internet taxation, intellectual property disputes and privacy.

"The GBDe represents the global cooperation of companies from the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania," Cowles wrote in her recent study, Who Writes the Rules of E-Commerce? "As such, the GBDe might serve as a ‘prototype for addressing globalization' and the ways in which firms and governments interact in the future."

Composed of CEOs and such industry leaders as AOL Time Warner Chairman Steve Case, the GBDe members are "at the forefront of new technologies, engaged in the global marketplace and holding tremendous expertise in e-commerce issues," Cowles writes. "This expertise, along with the sheer market dominance of these companies, renders them ‘authoritative.'"

In September, the GBDe meets in Tokyo and will tackle such issues as cyber security, e-government, taxation over the web, cyber ethics and the digital divide. For stories about this important subject, Cowles would make an excellent source, both on the GBDe and the state of e-commerce.

Her complete paper is available at: http://www.aicgs.org/publications/PDF/cowles.pdf

The American Institute for Contemporary German Studies is a center for nonpartisan, advanced research, study and discourse relating to the Federal Republic of Germany, its politics, economy, culture and society. Founded in 1983, AICGS has been a premier source of research and analysis for the policymaking and policy-advising communities in the public and private sectors.

Drawing on an international network of scholars and specialists , the Institute has consistently generated in-depth, nonpartisan assessments of Germany's policy choices and developments and their impact on the trans-Atlantic dialogue. Affiliated with the Johns Hopkins University, AICGS provides a comprehensive program of public forums, policy studies, research and study groups designed to enrich the political, corporate and scholarly constituencies it serves.

More information about AICGS and instructions on subscribing to their electronic newsletter can be found at: http://www.aicgs.org

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