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Bill Gates welcomes New Zealand initiatives

12 September, 2000 Media Statement
Bill Gates welcomes New Zealand initiatives

Information Technology Minister Paul Swain met today with Bill Gates , Chairman and Chief Software Architect of Microsoft. They discussed ways the government is working with New Zealanders to make the most of new technologies.

"Bill Gates agreed that I could keep in touch with him as we roll out New Zealand's plans for the new economy," Paul Swain said.

"I also invited him to consider New Zealand as the perfect place for the establishment of a Microsoft research and development project.

"Bill Gates expressed interest and excitement in the developments here in New Zealand.

"I also took the opportunity to invite him to New Zealand to see what is happening here for himself," he said.

Bill Gates in turn invited Paul Swain to attend a government leaders forum in Seattle in 2001 to share ideas with government leaders from around the world on best practice in the knowledge economy.

"It was a very successful meeting," Paul Swain said.

Earlier in the day Mr Swain lead a group of New Zealand Chief Information Officers in a round table discussion with Bill Gates, and heard about some of the latest global technological developments.

"New Zealand's future lies in the new economy and the government is working in partnership with business to help New Zealand become a leader in e-commerce," he said.

"Bill Gates stressed the need for government leadership in e-commerce, in improving education and skills, in creating a modern telecommunications infrastructure and for governments to be model users of new technology.

"This fits in well with our plans to hold an e-commerce summit this year, to roll out e-government programmes, to up New Zealand education and skills, to deal with the digital divide and to work quickly to improve the competitive environment for the telecommunications industry," Paul Swain said.

Contact: kerry.lamont@parliament.govt.nz

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