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Swain Welcomes ICT Taskforce Report


Swain Welcomes ICT Taskforce Report

Minister of Communications and Information Technology Paul Swain welcomed the release of the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Taskforce’s report today.

The ICT Taskforce is one of three taskforces – the others are biotechnology and creative industries – announced by Prime Minister Helen Clark in February, as part of the Government’s Innovation Framework.

Mr Swain convened the ICT Taskforce in May to identify ways in which the ICT sector can boost its already substantial contribution to the New Zealand economy. After a series of concentrated meetings it has produced its ‘Breaking Through the Barriers’ report, which sets the goal of New Zealand producing 100 additional ICT companies each doing over $100 million in sales per year by 2012.

“ICT presents huge opportunities for New Zealand,” said Mr Swain. “It’s an important industry both in its own right and as an enabler across other industries. ICT has a major contribution to make towards the goal of getting New Zealand back into the top half of the OECD.

“The Taskforce was convened as a tightly-focused group of ICT business leaders who have already been-there-and-done-that in terms of growing successful ICT companies. The idea was to learn from their experience and to come up with ways to make it easier for companies that follow. I’m very pleased with the Taskforce’s report as it contains the kind of challenging goals and concrete recommendations the Government was looking for.”

Mr Swain said the Taskforce’s recommendations should be seen as a work-in-progress. “They provide a focus for Government’s wider consultation with other stakeholders in the ICT sector.

“To test the ideas and recommendations contained in the report with the wider industry, the Taskforce and Industry New Zealand are engaging in a consultation process beginning in Christchurch next week followed by meetings in Auckland and Wellington.

“At the same time Ministry of Economic Development officials will consult with relevant government departments on the report's recommendations. The Government will prepare a more detailed response to the report in due course. Officials will assess how recommendations may be implemented and will also have to coordinate with other Taskforce reports that may address similar issues from a different perspective.

“Many of the recommendations are focused on industry development issues. The industry itself will need to play a major partnership role if some of these recommendations are to become reality.

“Growing 100 new companies with annual ICT sales of $100 million over the next 10 years will require a quantum change. The Government’s and the education sector’s commitment to the growth target, and high-level and broad-based support from within the ICT industry, are needed to see the journey through,” said Mr Swain.

The ICT Taskforce report can be downloaded from: http:// http://www.industrytaskforces.govt.nz

Members of the public can send comments about the report to: mailto: mailto:ict@industrytaskforces.govt.nz or:

ICT Taskforce Have Your Say PO Box 2878 Wellington


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