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India and New Zealand formally agree for IT cooperation

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DQW Bureau
New Update





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India and New Zealand have signed an agreement on institutionalizing a framework for cooperation and bilateral collaboration in the IT sector. The agreement will focus primarily in facilitating partnership in technology and services within the IT sector. Agreement while recognizing the potential for extensive trade between the two countries in the IT sector, underlines the need to tap opportunities in a more focused and comprehensive manner.

The scope of cooperation between the two countries will focus on e-commerce, consumer protection policies, Internet applications, cross-border issues such as cyber-crimes, intellectual property rights, privacy and security applications of e-commerce and information industries. It was signed between Pramod Mahajan, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Information Technology and Communications and Paul Swain, Minister of Information Technology, Communications and Commerce, Government of New Zealand.





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A key aspect of the agreement pertains to the identification of the channels and forums through which the policy deliverables would be appropriately placed. It will facilitate trade in the information industry, goods and services including standards and conformance issues and removal of trade barriers. It would also explore the scope of development of joint programs designed to facilitate investment, joint ventures and business network activities in IT, telecom, e-commerce, education and other knowledge-based industries.

The understanding also focuses on exchange of information in areas such as intellectual property rights, digital signatures and public key infrastructures. In order to facilitate a long sustaining partnership, the broad understanding in the agreement would also encompass exchange of information on legal, regulatory and policy approaches highlighting the needs of the IT industry.

It is posed to be an important bilateral initiative to promote cooperation not only between Government institutions but also through like-minded knowledge-based industries, business interests and knowledge promoting educational institutions. A key focus in this regard would be the stress on advance communication technologies, software and multi-media content development and IT enabled services. The agreement specifically underlines the need to promote bilateral understanding of regulatory approaches being pursued in both the countries. It is believed that this understanding is necessary to promote trade and business networks between the information industry companies of both the countries.

The agreement has been inked for a period of five years. It attempts also to promote this initiative at regional and international levels for facilitating further cooperation in critical sectors of Information Technology. The Departments identified in the agreement as the apex institutions for facilitating the process are the Ministry of Information Technology, on behalf of Government of India and the Ministry of Economic Development on behalf of the Government of New Zealand.

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