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Modest IT Growth Reflects Global Conditions


Statistics showing only a modest growth in New Zealand’s information industry during the 2001 financial year are reflective of global economic conditions, the Executive Director of the Information Technology Association of New Zealand (ITANZ), Mr Jim O’Neill, said today.

“The business climate for the industry world-wide was difficult and many countries produced a negative outcome over the full year. In these circumstances the 3.3 percent growth rate in the total value of New Zealand IT can be viewed as reasonable.

“Because we have been tracking the health of the industry through this annual survey of Statistics New Zealand for about 10 years it is an extremely valuable guide to trends that we can update from latest information coming into us from businesses.

“Statistics covering the software sector, in which exports slipped in value to below $100 million after four years of steady growth, highlight an area in which we can do better. This sector represents the lifeblood of New Zealand IT innovation. The figures indicate that we need to work harder to find ways of boosting its performance.

ITANZ represents the Information and Communications Technology industry of New Zealand; a business sector that generates combined annual revenues in excess of $11 billion. ITANZ members account for approximately 85% of this revenue and directly employ more than 30,000 people. Our aim is to maximize the economic and social potential inherent in these technologies to create advantages for all New Zealanders.

“We have the capabilities in New Zealand. It is a question of harnessing our joint resources to best effect. Further encouragement of overseas companies to invest in research and development here will add impetus to the sector’s growth prospects.

“The fact that overseas sales of computing hardware, software and related services is up almost 12 percent on the previous year to a value of $770 million during a period of international spending restraint, indicates a good base for future growth as the global economy eases out of recession.

“It is pleasing to see the considerable volume of export activity from this industry which is doing better than some other high profile new industries such as wine and fashion.

Ends

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