Minister Announces Funding For Electronic Commerce

  • Maurice Williamson
Research, Science and Technology

Electronic commerce is becoming a vital part of New Zealand's emerging knowledge-based economy. In recognition of this the Government has delivered additional funding of $405 000 to speed up the movement in this area, Information Technology (IT) Minister Maurice Williamson said.

He said World Trade Organisation estimates that worldwide Internet Commerce would reach more than US $5 billion by 2001 underlined the impact E-Commerce would have on New Zealand.

"It's extremely important because it removes the barrier of our geographical isolation, stimulates innovation and encourages the development of new and valuable products. But there are things we need to address to reap the full rewards."

Mr Williamson said it was critical that any legislative or regulatory barriers to the development of E-Commerce were removed.

"Security and trust are major issues, and we need a legal environment where companies can choose to conduct their business electronically with the same certainty they enjoy with traditional methods," said Mr Williamson.

The $405 000 will be used by the Information Technology Policy Group within the Ministry of Commerce over three yearsto address E-Commerce issues and deliver more certainty to businesses.

"New Zealand is well-positioned to be a leader in E-Commerce, and we are determined to provide the environment necessary for New Zealand enterprises to adopt this new and exciting mode of business," Mr Williamson said.