EITO shares vision for Australian ICT sector

Around 23, 000 companies registered in Australia's ICT sector last year according to a report released by the European Information Technology Observatory (EITO).The report states that these companies "employed approximately a quarter of a million people and accounted for eight percent of the gross national product".

Around 23, 000 companies registered in Australia's ICT sector last year according to a report released by the European Information Technology Observatory (EITO).

The report states that these companies "employed approximately a quarter of a million people and accounted for eight percent of the gross national product".

CeBit Worldwide Events managing director Joerg Schomburg said Australia has shifted from an agricultural focused country to an information hub in the last years.

"The ICT industry is becoming increasingly important in Australia. In the last few decades the country has developed away from being the producer of agricultural products and minerals - it has gradually become a competitive services society with a well developed ICT sector. The trend will continue," Schomburg said.

Among the countries best assets for a blossoming IT industry, Schomburg listed a high degree of political and economic stability, a well-trained labour force, competitive wage levels, and an economic infrastructure with attractive cost levels.

"This environment was the basis for our decision to risk the venture in Australia," said Schomburg referring to CeBit's decision to hold the tradeshow here for the last three years.

Schomburg went on to share his vision for developing the country's IT sector and heaped praise on the country's attitude to the task.

He singled-out education, pointing out that Australia had attached "considerable importance" to university education and further training programs for employees of SMEs.

Schomburg was also complimentary when it came to the Federal government's telecommunications initiatives such as 'Networking the Nation' -- an initiative to ensure adequate provision of telecommunication and Internet services throughout rural areas.

Even with the US still topping the ICT charts, a report by the World Economic Forum last year confirmed that Australia is on "the right path with this policy". The organisation has placed Australia in ninth position world-wide in terms of development towards becoming an information society.