New Zealand will be promoted as a safe centre for conducting global e-commerce at a meeting of APEC officials in South Korea this week.
The idea will be put by the Auckland-based head of security service E-secure IT, Arjen de Landgraaf.
“Just as Switzerland is a centre of world banking, New Zealand could be a base for companies worldwide to do e-commerce,” says de Landgraaf, who envisages creation of server “farms” for the purpose.
De Landgraaf is a speaker at APEC Tel, a meeting of APEC’s telecommunications and information working group. He represents the New Zealand Pacific Economic Co-operation Council (PECC), a partnership of industry, government, academic and other interests, which has official observer status at APEC.
De Landgraaf says New Zealand needs to demonstrate it has the IT infrastructure and national stability to make it a trusted location for establishment of a worldwide e-commerce hub.
He cites New Zealand’s readily protected international telecommunications links as one reason it might succeed in becoming a hub. However, he concedes the country is vulnerable when the links fail, as occurred when the Southern Cross Cable broke during a storm off New South Wales in July, because we don’t have multiple connections to fall back on.
Another point in New Zealand’s favour, he says, is its international relationships. “We’re much more neutral than Australia and closer to Asia than other western nations.”
But he says Singapore and Hong Kong have similar ambitions.
De Landgraaf’s idea will be listened to by Telecommunications Users Association (TUANZ) head Ernie Newman, who is also at the APEC meeting. Newman, who is there as a repesentative of TUANZ and the international user group INTUG, says if the notion stacks up, he’ll support it.
“I will do whatever I can to back it if it’s credible,” Newman says.
De Landgraaf claims the backing of Telecom and Deloittes for the hub notion. He says Telecom’s SafeCom security service is an example of services that New Zealand IT companies might develop to support the idea.
“In the end what we’re interested in is contributing to the e-knowledge economy,” he says, adding that that’s consistent with themes that emerged at the government-backed Knowledge Wave conference in Auckland in August.