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IBM e-business Innovation Centre bound for Sydney

Australian Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Senator Nick Minchin and the Premier of New South Wales, Mr Bob Carr announced today that information technology industry leader IBM will establish its Asia Pacific e-Business Innovation Centre in Sydney.

IBM chose Sydney as the location for the new centre against strong competition from Singapore.

"This is a great win for Australia and will position our nation at the leading edge of global e-commerce development", Senator Minchin said.

"The IBM initiative confirms the advantages of Sydney and Australia as the IT and e-business hub of the Asia Pacific", Mr Carr said.

The Centre will showcase IBM's electronic business capabilities, provide e-business applications research and development for the Asia Pacific customers and supply e-business consultancy services and solutions to the company's clients.

Senator Minchin said the Commonwealth and New South Wales Governments have worked closely to ensure Australia won the world scale IBM centre.

Assistance jointly provided by the Commonwealth and State governments that helped secure the Centre for Australia is to be targeted at employment and IT skills training. This is viewed as a success for both the Federal Strategic Incentives process and the New South Wales Post 2000 Jobs Plan.

"This strategic investment will assist us to enhance Australia as a innovative leader in e-business and position us to win future business in this rapidly expanding market", Minister Minchin said.

Colleen Arnold, General Manager for IBM Global Services Australia and New Zealand, said that Sydney was selected because of its large and stable pool of graduates and experienced professionals in technology, graphic design and marketing.

The e-business sector in the Asia Pacific is predicted to grow to US$1.6 trillion by 2004 according to Forrester Research.

"Australia, with Sydney leading the charge, is now poised to shape the development of e-business throughout the Asia Pacific region", Mr Carr said.

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