Australia and Singapore sign IT agreement

Australia and Singapore sign IT agreement

Australian and Singaporean governments have agreed on a cooperative approach in the development of information and communication technology.

The two parties sealed the agreement by signing several Memoranda of Understanding (MOU), including MOUs on trade and Y2K collaboration.

Facilitated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the memoranda are expected to boost the exchange of goods and information between the two countries, and encourage mutual investment in the development of information technology (IT).

Senator Richard Alston, minister for communications, information technology and the arts, has welcomed the initiative, revealing in a written statement that a specific focus of the collaborative effort will be to broaden the relationship between [his] department and the Singapore National Computer Board.

In particular, Singapore and Australia are expected to work more closely on Y2K-related problems, exchanging information on viable solutions.

"As 72.4 per cent of Australia's exports are directed to Asia-Pacific Economic Community (APEC) and 68 per cent of our imports come from APEC economies, it is critically important for Australia's well being that our regional neighbours are well prepared for Y2K and this MOU is another positive step towards that preparedness, senator Alston said.

Closer business ties between the two countries' IT sectors will be nurtured through an Australia-Singapore co-chaired Joint Council that is to be established shortly under the agreement.

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