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Launch Of The Ecotech Clearing House Website

Rt Hon Helen Clark Speech Notes

Launch Of The Ecotech Clearing House Website APEC Leaders' Meeting, Brunei

I am very pleased to have the opportunity to launch an important New Zealand contribution to APEC this year: an information distribution project formally titled the Ecotech Clearing House.

At the simplest level, this new website is a gateway to the economic and technical co-operation work that APEC and other organisations are doing. Until now, the knowledge generated by the millions of dollars APEC spends each year on projects was only readily available to small groups of experts. Now that knowledge will be instantly available on-line to business people, researchers, government officials, and NGOs – indeed to anyone with internet access. Not only APEC’s own database, but also more than sixty linked sites will be able to be searched for the information needed.

From this one site on the internet it will be possible to find out what work APEC and other bodies have done or are currently doing in areas ranging from medicine to the environment, technology, agriculture, the impact of globalisation, the ‘New Economy’, climate change, health and energy issues, and many more.

Most importantly, the site links up work which covers more than one areas; the so-called ‘cross cutting’ issues. If one wants to know about, for example, energy conservation as it affects small and medium enterprises, or sustainable development as it affects tourism, this site will find any work that has been done.

Economic and technical co-operation is a key plank of APEC. New Zealand and other APEC members recognise that it isn’t enough just to liberalise the international trading environment. Equitable development and the prosperity of all members of the APEC community demand that APEC’s developing members in particular be given the help they need to maximise their ability to operate in and benefit from the modern global economy.

APEC’s work in economic and technical co-operation should make a difference for the better to people’s lives. The Clearing House is a means of spreading knowledge about that technical and economic co-operation, which is of particular importance to developing economies.

Examples of APEC’s recent economic and technical co-operation include:

 Research into options for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels
 Training in response to earthquake disasters
 Encouraging private and public sector organisations to use technology to support people with disabilities participating in the workforce and business
 Research and training in detecting and responding to the outbreak of infectious diseases

This website is interactive. Those who register with the Clearing House will receive a monthly email of new information and discussion in that area of interest.

Another key feature of the website is its information Xchange, a customised discussion forum. It can be used to communicate on-line with APEC colleagues: asking questions, sharing advice, and discussing new areas of work.

Like the data retrieval network, the Information Xchange is open to all members of the economic and technical co-operation community: development agencies, academics and researchers, interested private sector organisations and NGOs.

New Zealand is committed to APEC’s economic and technical programme as a way of improving the quantity and quality of life of the peoples of the Asia-Pacific region. We commend this new information tool and are confident that it will support social and economic development in the region.

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