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APEC, Microsoft to Develop Info. Management Portal

APEC & Microsoft Sign MOU to Develop Information Management Portal
Microsoft makes in-kind donation of US$500,000 to support project to enhance collaboration amongst members of APEC

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Secretariat and Microsoft today signed a memorandum of understanding for the development of the APEC Information Management Portal.

The portal provides a web-based integrated platform for creating and managing projects, meetings and policy initiatives, thereby enhancing APEC productivity and organizational effectiveness. The system includes a Less Paper Meeting System. The portal is expected to improve collaboration capacity and knowledge sharing between APEC Member Economies and private sector representatives involved in APEC's work.

"We are very excited about this technology partnership with Microsoft, as we strive to use information technology to keep the APEC process efficient and effective without adding additional complexity or costs to the forum," said Ambassador Choi Seok Young, 2005 Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat when he signed the MOU.

"APEC's Member Economies recognize that information and communications technologies are having a significant impact on economic development and social activities in our region."

Ambassador Tran Trong Toan, the 2006 APEC Secretariat Executive Director, similarly welcomed the newly forged collaboration with Microsoft as a strong example of public/private partnership and a demonstration of APEC's commitment to technology initiatives that advance the socio-economic environment in the Asia Pacific.

"Appropriate infrastructure and policies on IT, together with human resource and development cooperation strategies, are preconditions to move APEC towards a knowledge-based economy," said Ambassador Toan.

"The APEC forum welcomes Microsoft's support in achieving our vision for the Asia-Pacific,"

Commenting on the APEC partnership, Craig Mundie, Microsoft's Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President for Advanced Strategies and Policies said: "Microsoft enjoys a strong relationship with governments around the world including across the APEC region."

"We look forward to working with APEC to address its IT needs in a manner that delivers value to the organization and its Member Economies," said Mr Mundie.

He added that "At Microsoft, we are committed to building public/private partnerships worldwide to develop and deliver technology and solutions that will help people achieve their personal and professional goals."

Under the terms of the MOU signed by the Secretariat on behalf of the APEC forum, Microsoft is providing in-kind support, comprising software and technical support, worth US$500,000 to APEC for the implementation of the integrated portal. atQuest Solution (www.atquest.com), a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and a Southeast Asia based company with offices in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand is implementing the integrated portal solution.

Mr Mundie is in Korea attending the APEC CEO Summit as a delegate and is also participating in a plenary discussion at the summit focused on the capacity of ICTs to advance a knowledge-based economy. He will be meeting with senior government and business leaders during his trip to Korea.

APEC has significantly expanded its IT-related activities in recent years. Changes in the global economy have led APEC to develop a range of strategies to increase the capacity of members to fully tap into the benefits of the digital economy. "Toward that end," Choi noted, "APEC members have agreed to work together to support principles of technology choice in a market-opening, trade liberalizing manner that will spur the cycle of innovation and opportunity and promote economic development across the region."

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