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Microsoft Says Innovation Framework Encouraging

Microsoft Says New Zealand's Innovation Framework Is "Encouraging And Constructive".

PM Helen Clark Meets Visiting Senior US Microsoft Executive to Discuss Government's Innovation and Growth Framework.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand- Friday, 1 March 2002- In a meeting with Prime Minister Rt Hon Helen Clark today, Microsoft Corporation's Senior Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, Craig Mundie said New Zealand's Innovation and Growth Framework was "an encouraging vision for upskilling citizens and stimulating innovation across the community".

Mundie said New Zealand's attempt to incorporate innovation and technology as a central focus of a social and economic vision was constructive, and he expected it to open the way for New Zealand to develop new policies that successfully test old economic boundaries.

Mundie also said he hoped the New Zealand framework would be widened over time to address issues such as tax, R&D and international investment incentives, removing business compliance costs and barriers, as well as encouraging broadband uptake, promoting intellectual property protection and fostering international partnerships with local businesses.

"Innovation means finding better ways of achieving goals. If New Zealand is to succeed at being a truly innovative nation, it should consider all possibilities," Mundie said. "Some countries have produced specific plans around encouraging the growth of 'knowledge-based' economies, but for the New Zealand Government to recognise the model role that governments can play in stimulating this growth is commendable".

"As knowledge and technology grows at pace, government policy needs to be flexible and respond rapidly. The New Zealand framework will provide a good basis to examine the complex factors and issues around innovation with the aim of implementing some pragmatic and forward-thinking policies to encourage economic and social prosperity.

"I look forward to Microsoft working with the New Zealand Government to make a practical reality of the vision," Mundie said. "The technology industry's future is directly tied to innovation and as a software leader, Microsoft believes that by working in partnership with government, we can find ways to create a policy and regulatory environment that will encourage the inherent inventiveness of New Zealand and stimulate innovation in business, academia and government".

Mundie is in New Zealand to meet with Microsoft customers and the Government. He was in Australia earlier this week to address the World Information Technology Congress in Adelaide and to hold separate talks with senior Australian government officials.

Mundie reports directly to Microsoft Corporation's Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates and works with him on technical, business and policy strategies.

He focuses on Internet-scale platform architectures, the definition of consumer computing experiences as part of the Microsoft® .NET initiatives, and technical and policy issues surrounding critical infrastructure protection, intellectual property and trustworthy computing.

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