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100 additional companies each selling over $100m

20 November 2002

ICT taskforce sets growth target
– 100 additional companies
each doing over $100m sales per year by 2012

The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Taskforce today released its strategy to more than double ICT’s contribution to the economy over the next 10 years.

Currently ICT constitutes 4.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) – the taskforce wants this to increase 10 percent, recognising that ICT is an essential component of economic growth in a knowledge-based economy.

“To give you an idea of the size of the task,” said taskforce chairman Murray McNae, “to hit the GDP target we need to grow 100 New Zealand ICT companies each generating more than $100 million in sales annually.

“We’ve only got 16 at the moment.”

Mr McNae said the single biggest issue that needs to be addressed is the lack of commercialisation skills and experience in New Zealand ICT companies for them to successfully go global.

One of the taskforce’s recommendations is that the sector set up a leadership team to “spearhead” implementation of the action plan.

The taskforce also recommends that:
- The ICT sector adopt the target of 100 companies, each generating $100 million in sales in 10 years (100/100/10)
- The ICT sector and government concentrate on expanding the New Zealand-based ICT presence in the global market
- Government ministries and agencies urgently deal with looming skill shortages which the taskforce says is the second biggest constraint on ICT growth
- The ICT sector implement an executive development programme that focuses on commercialisation aspects of fast growing businesses
- ICT awareness programmes to find the next generation of ICT entrepreneurs be run in schools
- Government should consider regulatory issues concerning the sector

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Mr McNae said that within the taskforce there was a strong feeling it was time to act.

“While we want to have feedback on the report, we also hope that a strikes a chord with the wider ICT community and provides the basis of an action plan that the whole sector can get behind.”

The taskforce will begin consultations with the ICT sector through discussion and meetings.

Mr McNae said there was much to celebrate in the New Zealand ICT sector with a number of companies already making a mark in the world marketplace with high-value niche products and services. “This is where the greatest potential for growth lies.”

Editor’s notes

1. The ICT taskforce was appointed in May 2002. It consists of business leaders with strong commercial experience. For more information, and to download a copy of the report, visit www.industrytaskforces.govt.nz

2. The taskforce members are:

Murray McNae, Chair (SolNet)

Hon Paul Swain Convenor (Minister for Information Technology and Minister for Communications)
David Bibby (IRL)
John Blackham (XSOL)
Catherine Calarco
Denis Chapman (Spark Ventures)
Jim Donovan (Isambard)
Steve Harris
Peter Maire (Navman)
Ian McCrae (Orion Systems)
Jenny Morel (Morel & Co)
Ian Taylor (Animation Research Ltd)


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