22 Mar 2006

NZ minister says Pacific to gain from tech changes

6:58 pm on 22 March 2006

New Zealand's Communications Minister, David Cunliffe, says there are huge opportunities for Pacific countries if they fully embrace the latest telecommunications technology.

Communications ministers and officials from the 16 Pacific Islands Forum countries will meet in Wellington next week to discuss a regional Digital Strategy.

This Strategy is a key element of the Pacific Plan which is encouraging co-operation and the integration of services in the region.

Mr Cunliffe says information and communication technology are crucial for the development of Pacific countries.

"They have more to gain, probably, than any other region in the world because of the vast distances that people would have to travel and the emergence of satellite in particular and advanced wireless technology. There are huge upsides for their development and potential, and real benefits for the people on the ground at low costs."