Madeira encourages information technology operations, and the island has invested heavily in state-of-the-art telecommunications. There are several Internet Service Providers in Madeira, with clear interest being shown in offshore e-commerce development. See below for specific information on e-commerce in Madeira, or go to Offshore-e-com.com for an extensive analysis of the commercial possibilities and the legal background.
A conference held in January 2006 heard that increasing competitiveness in the e-business sector and the improvement of the jurisdiction's internal efficiency through e-government may be fundamental tools in stimulating the creation of new economic activities and the strengthening of innovation in Madeira.
The suggestion was made by Willem Mole, senior adviser of ECORYS Nederland, part of the European research and consulting group, during the conference organized by S.D.M., the jurisdiction's investment promotion agency, which was held in Funchal under the theme: “Madeira, Present and Future: the challenge of development."
The conference heard how Madeira could learn how other small and dynamic economies, such as Luxemburg, Malta, The Isle of Man and Singapore, overcame their own difficulties and developed strategies to respond to the challenges of the constantly changing global economy.
The general conclusion drawn by the delegates as a result of the presentations and debates was that Madeira needs to reinforce its presence worldwide and must use the strengths of the International Business Centre and the Tourism industry.
This view was strongly endorsed by the Vice-President of the Regional Parliament, Miguel de Sousa, who stressed that “all the required conditions must be created in order to assure the competitiveness of Madeira's IBC as well as the necessary stability to attract international investors".