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Government E-Commerce Web Site Launched

The Government's Electronic Commerce web site was launched today by Information Technology Minister Maurice Williamson.

"We recognise that E- Commerce is a vital part of New Zealand's emerging knowledge economy," said Mr Williamson.

"The purpose of this web site is to provide business people and the wider public with easy access to all available government information on Electronic Commerce, including tax, consumer protection, privacy, the legal environment and trust and security."

Mr Williamson said the site included a number of links to useful overseas information.

"A lot of people probably don't know that this information exists. For example, APEC commissioned a guide for small and medium businesses on E-Commerce and the law in each of the APEC economies. This is available online, and our web site takes you straight to it."

Mr Williamson said that the E-Commerce web site, administered by the Information Technology Policy Group in the Ministry of Commerce, will be further developed over time, with New Zealand E-Commerce success stories being added in the coming months.

"Because of our small local market, my sense is that E-Commerce in New Zealand will develop its own flavour. There will likely be a much greater emphasis on selling niche products to a global market, in contrast to the mass market approach. The case studies will be important in showing how E-Commerce can work to the advantage of New Zealanders," said Mr Williamson.

"Business also needs to be made aware of some of the competitive advantages New Zealand offers in the online world. For example, our technology neutral privacy law affords better privacy protection for E-Commerce users than most other countries. New Zealand businesses should use this fact in their online marketing."

The web site can be found at http://www.ecommerce.govt.nz

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