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Swain opening address to E-commerce Summit

1 November 2000 Speech Notes

Paul Swain opening address to E-commerce Summit.
9.15am - Aotea Centre - Auckland

It is my great pleasure to welcome you here to this e-commerce summit.

The idea of this began over a year ago but never in my wildest dreams did I think that we would have sparked the sort of interest represented by the overwhelming response that we have had and is evident by your presence here today.

I want three things to come out of the next two days:
 To raise the profile of e-commerce and its importance for New Zealand
 To get feedback on the government’s e-commerce strategy
 And to give business a chance to talk to business about how e-commerce can lift business performance in New Zealand.

Plugging New Zealand into the online world is this government's goal. Exploiting the potential of e-commerce is fundamental to that goal.

When I think of New Zealand in the future I think of a vibrant, exciting, proud country where attitude, enterprise and innovation are celebrated and where our young people want to work and live. A New Zealand that other countries look to as an example of how to get things done. E-commerce is fundamental to that.

Last week I was one of a group of ministers who met with businesses here in Auckland to talk about the future, this summit is part of that future. Business and government working together to make things happen.

In fact putting together this conference involved forming some early partnerships. We have formed alliances with six key partners who have helped us create this event.

These sponsors are committed to encouraging all New Zealand businesses to strengthen their use of e-Commerce. I would like to thank Cisco Systems NZ Ltd, Telstra Saturn, IBM New Zealand, Baycorp Holdings, Oracle New Zealand and SolNet.

I would also like to thank our other sponsors who are helping with the event –the University of Waikato Management School, Tradenz, Advantage Group Limited and Wilson & Horton's online arm W&H Interactive. Microsoft is offering a website prize.

And of course our chair Sir Gil Simpson – who has been a champion of e-commerce in New Zealand and brings a wealth of experience to his role.

This summit is about the government’s commitment to advancing e-commerce in New Zealand. Creating wealth and knowledge through e-commerce is the future for New Zealand companies. Especially the small to medium sized sector who so many of your represent.

The government is serious about this. This afternoon six senior ministers – the Deputy Prime Minister and the Ministers of Finance, Education, Tertiary Education, Maori Affairs and Research, Science and Technology – will join a workshop to look at taking the strategy forward.

What we have to look at over the next two days is how prepared we are and what steps can we take to achieve this.

One of the highlights of the Summit for me will be the release of the government's e-commerce strategy - our blueprint for how New Zealand can move forward in e-commerce – which I will present to you this afternoon.

We will be seeking feedback on that plan from you – that feedback is critical to getting the plan right, please take time to let us know your thoughts.

You have ahead of you a range of practical and focused workshops and presentations by businesses on why they have adopted e-commerce.

You will hear first hand stories from businesses who got involved in e-commerce early on and how it has worked for them.

We have lined up some fantastic speakers including keynote addresses from some of the world’s leading authorities on the successful use of e-commerce.

This summit is about getting things done, we don't want to just sit around and talk, we want you to take part, to get excited and to go away with some good ideas, and leave us with some great ones.

It's time to crank up the pace, enjoy the next two days and make good use of the talent here. Good luck and enjoy the conference.

Summit site: www.ecommerce-summit.govt.nz

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