NZ Takes Centre Stage At World Congress On IT 2002

Published: Mon 12 Nov 2001 11:37 AM
New Zealand Takes Centre Stage At World Congress On IT 2002
Auckland, November 12 2001-- New Zealand Government and industry bodies are teaming up to host part of next year’s World Congress on Information Technology, to be held in Adelaide and opened by former US president Bill Clinton.
Trade New Zealand, its investment division Investment New Zealand and the IT Association of New Zealand (ITANZ) will sponsor a day-one event to showcase New Zealand IT and facilitate the presence of local companies.
New Zealand’s participation in The World Congress on IT (February 27-March 1, 2002) aims to lift the country’s profile as a source of high-tech goods and investment opportunities as the event comes “down under” for the first time.
WCIT has been running bi-annually for over 20 years and brings together influential corporate executives and IT decision makers from the US, Asia, Europe and Australia. Speakers include Bill Clinton, who will deliver the keynote address, well-known futurist Don Tapscott, UK Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt, Silicon Graphics CEO Bob Bishop and NASDAQ Vice Chairman Al Berkeley. A two-day IT Business Forum precedes the congress.
Trade New Zealand’s General Manager of Client Services, Tim Harris, says a New Zealand themed luncheon for congress delegates will be held on the first day of the event. A presentation on local technology will be shown and New Zealand exporters will be able to mix and mingle with the CEOs of the top global companies.
“IT is one of New Zealand’s fastest growing export sectors,” says Mr Harris. “While export statistics for the IT sector are difficult to capture, Trade New Zealand estimates IT exports may be close to $400 million for software, $800 for electronics and $390 for telecommunications, with steady growth in each in the past four years and again expected this year.
“WCIT’s showing down under provides a timely opportunity to lift our profile and the opinions of our international partners about our technical expertise even higher.
“The event will give New Zealand IT exporters the chance to get beside big names, obtain their perspectives on the future of IT and world economies and show the value New Zealand’s high-tech products can offer.”
Gary Langford, the Director of Investment New Zealand, the agency that facilitates international investment into New Zealand, says his staff are hoping to leverage the event by bringing attending investors across the Tasman.
“WCIT gives us an unparalled opportunity to target top IT investors who may otherwise not have come down in person to our Hemisphere. Being able to show investors first hand the opportunities in New Zealand is a real coup,” Mr Langford says.
ITANZ Executive Director Jim O’Neill says the congress is a pinnacle event.
“The World Congress of IT is a must-attend gathering for political, social and business leaders, economic planners and futurists,” says Mr O’Neill. “Global economic conditions are uncertain. Information and communications technology will have a strong role in recovery. This gathering will give clear pointers to the way ahead.
“ITANZ is strongly supportive of Australia’s role in staging the Congress. We believe it is unlikely to be held in this part of the world again for many years. This is a watershed Congress aimed at making the most of ICT socially, economically and for business development.”
The CEO of WCIT 2002, John Gygar, is visiting New Zealand this week to discuss the event with clients of Trade New Zealand and ITANZ.
About the World Congress on IT
The Congress was inaugurated 23 years ago in 1978 in Barcelona and has since been held every two years in various countries around the world. WCIT is next year being held in the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. The Congress is the flagship event of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA), which is the global peak body for the information industry and counts among its members the national IT associations of 41 countries. The Australian member organisation of WITSA is the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA). Pinnacle sponsors of the event are Telstra and the Government of South Australia. Diamond sponsors include the Commonwealth Government of Australia and EDS and gold level sponsors include The Australian Financial Review, Compaq, Fuji Xerox, Infosys, and Trade Partners UK.
Next year’s line-up of speakers is one of the most impressive line-ups in the event’s 23-year history. Former US President Bill Clinton heads the list, which includes global leaders in business, IT and government. Others include:
- Naoyuki Akikusa, President and CEO, Fujitsu
- Dr Yrjö Neuvo, Executive Vice President, Nokia Mobile Phones
- Al Berkeley, Vice Chairman, NASDAQ Stock Market Inc.
- Doug Elix, Senior Vice President and Group Executive, IBM Global Services
- Narayana Murthy, Chairman and CEO, Infosys Technologies
- Bob Bishop, CEO, Silicon Graphics
- John Chen, Chairman, President and CEO, Sybase
The full program and registration details are available at
The IT Business Forum, from February 25-26, immediately precedes the congress and is free to congress delegates. It consists of three key programs: Understanding Asia Pacific markets; Global threats to IT security; Discover the secrets of Australian IT innovation.

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