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Swain Welcomes IT Business Figures

Minister for Information Technology and Communications Paul Swain is heartened by the results of a survey of IT use by business which shows New Zealand leading Australian businesses in Internet use.

Paul Swain released the report today.

"This new information proves that New Zealand businesses are ready to embrace e-commerce - all they need is direction," he said.

"The survey shows that although interest in the Internet is high, businesses have yet to fully understand the commercial opportunities and impacts that e-commerce will bring to the New Zealand economy and to their own business activities.

"This makes the need for the government's E-Commerce Summit in two weeks even more important," he said.

The survey of 506 small, medium and large businesses - was commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Development and conducted by BRC marketing and Social Research.

The survey results were compared with corresponding figures from an earlier survey by the Australian National Office for the Information Economy.

"What we learnt is that overall 68% of New Zealand firms use the Internet, compared with 57% of Australian firms. Around 33% of New Zealand businesses hold domain names, compared with 28% in Australia. Around 8% of the firms surveyed here said they didn't have a computer compared with 15% of Australians.

"This is heartening news for New Zealand as it positions itself to be a leader in the knowledge economy," Paul Swain said.

"One of the things I've identified as part of our development of an e-commerce strategy is the need for more research and informaton on which to plan the way forward. That is is one of the proposals that will be put to the E-commerce Summit in November.

"This MED survey shows that use of email by large firms in both countries is approaching saturation - but an issue we both need to address is the lag behind of smaller businesses in the use of e-commerce.

"That is particularly relevent given a key goal of the government's E-commerce Summit is helping small to medium sized businesses learn how to make the most of e-commerce opportunities," Paul Swain said.

Ends

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