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A 10 year ICT plan to be launched next week

A 10 year ICT plan to be launched next week

12 key policy areas identified

A 10 year vision strategy for Australia's ICT industry will be launched on Monday and handed to federal, state and territory governments to be used as a framework for debate and the development of future policy.

In an Australian first, the National ICT Industry Alliance (NICTIA) will release the strategy with the Australian Computer Society (ACS) in a bid to create a solid vision that is conducive to innovation, a critical component of a successful ICT industry able to contribute to the nation's economic prosperity.

The strategy identifies 12 key policy areas to generate sustainable growth within the ICT sector and to drive future productivity improvements.

It is being launched a month after the ACS released its ICT Trade Update showing Australia's ICT trade deficit has reached $21 billion.

The report shows that in 2006, Australia's ICT exports were worth $5.7 billion, with significant gains in ICT services exports, while imports cost $26.6 billion creating an ICT trade deficit of $20.9 billion - an increase of six per cent over the $19.7 billion trade deficit for 2005.

Releasing the report, its author Professor John Houghton, said the federal government in collaboration with the ICT industry needs to set a vision and provide regulation and programs to support industry.

Director of the ACS Economic and Industry Policy Board, Ian Dennis, said Australia's current and future economic growth depends on, and correlates with, innovative technology development and innovative use of existing technologies.

Dennis said that unlike many of its trading partners, Australia does not have a national medium to long term strategic framework to provide direction and structure for ICT policy that is aimed at generating sustainable growth.


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