22 Mar 2006

Pacific countries urged to pool tech resources

8:00 pm on 22 March 2006

Pacific countries are being called on to pool their resources to improve access to information and communication technology, or ICT.

Ministers and officials from 16 Pacific Forum countries meet in Wellington next week to discuss a regional digital strategy - one of the key elements of the Pacific Plan for greater regional integration.

John Budden, an economic infrastructure advisor at the Forum, says it wants the ministers to take a lead role in improving access for ICT.

And he says they will also look for an agreement on where there would be benefits in cooperating.

"Most of the Pacific countries are relatively small, have small scale - there is not a lot of opportunity for specialisation, there is not often opportunity for economies of scale, but if they pool their requirements, pool their expertise, pool their capacity there is some chance of bringing down the costs and improving the quality of service of ICTs"