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Budget 2000 provides e-commerce push

Hon Phillida Bunkle
Minister for Consumer Affairs

Hon Paul Swain
Minister of Commerce

Hon Jim Sutton
Minister for Trade Negotiations

15 June 2000


Budget 2000 provides e-commerce push


The government has dedicated more than $11 million over the next four years to promote e-commerce in New Zealand.

The Minister of Commerce Paul Swain says the Budget e-commerce package shows the Government is serious about helping New Zealanders benefit from the new economy.

"These initiatives are practical and comprehensive," he said.

"Our vision is for New Zealand to become a world leader in the smart use of electronic commerce. We have a lot of work to do in making sure that all people are able to use the new technologies, but if we do things right the whole country stands to benefit," Paul Swain said.

Budget provisions include:
 $225,000 a year for two years to develop a national electronic commerce strategy in consultation with industry and citizens;
 $169,000 a year for four years to harmonise New Zealand law on electronic commerce;
 $100,000 a year for four years to address electronic commerce-related consumer protection issues; and
 $9.5 million over two years for Trade New Zealand to implement an "e-commerce for exporters" strategy.

Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said the extra funding for TradeNZ would help small and medium exporters gain much-needed access to the new global economy and increase overall export earnings through trading online.

“Trade New Zealand’s mission is to foster the development and expansion of foreign exchange earnings by taking a leadership role in issues that affect exporters. This e-commerce strategy not only addresses specific issues raised by exporters, but will enable more businesses to take their first steps into exporting and expand our current exporter base."

Consumer Affairs Minister Phillida Bunkle said the Consumer Affairs Ministry would use its extra funding from the Budget to further develop a New Zealand Model Code for Consumer Protection in Electronic Commerce, for adoption by New Zealand internet traders.

"The aim is to increase consumer confidence in shopping online, to the benefit of both consumers and internet traders," said Ms Bunkle. "The code will send a very clear message to traders that, if they want to take advantage of electronic commerce opportunities, they must improve consumer confidence in their service."


ENDS

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