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ICT A Prime Sector For Employment Growth

ICT A Prime Sector For Employment Growth

Practical government recognition of the key role ICT can play in job growth and export development will help boost sector confidence at a time of almost static growth says the Executive Director of the Information Technology Association of New Zealand (ITANZ), Mr Jim O'Neill.

Commenting on the Government decision to make a special grant to EDS for establishment of a technology support centre in Auckland, he said the potential employment opportunities created by the centre were "the tip of an iceberg".

"This industry can be a major creator of new jobs within an encouraging environment. The move is a step in the right direction.

"A next positive move will be to start to commercialise government's own use of technology innovations that address major problem areas. The state service represents over 33 percent of GDP and if we can constructively harness its requirements to the innovation and job creation programme, New Zealand will be on a winner.

"The key to this, and to the EDS initiative, is Government commitment. There is huge competition from governments all over the world for multi-national ICT companies to establish such centres in their countries. New Zealand has to grasp these opportunities when they come our way because once such centres are established elsewhere the opportunity is gone forever.

"In the absence of a range of tax incentives common in many other countries, the establishment assistance grant for EDS is appropriate. New Zealand has to compete for its place in the sun.

"We should also recognise that the passion and commitment of Kiwi Chief Executives of multinational subsidiaries here is frequently instrumental in New Zealand being considered as a candidate for such important centres.

"We are pleased to see this arrangement also involves the provision of help from EDS to New Zealand companies seeking to go global. Partnering arrangements between New Zealand companies and multi-nationals are a significant element in the effort to get innovative Kiwi technology solutions around the world.

"The Government's willingness to commit to helping EDS establish this new centre in Auckland has to be taken as an encouraging signal that it recognises the role the ICT sector can play in boosting New Zealand employment and innovation on the world stage."

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