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White paper sees NBN as white knight for Asian stimulation

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Australia’s National Broadband Network is being positioned as a key trump card in accelerating economic and technology traction in the Asian markets following the release of government white paper ‘Australia in the Asian Century’.

The NBN is at the core of one the national objectives of the white paper to make Australia’s communications infrastructure and markets “world leading and support the rapid exchange and spread of ideas and commerce in the Asian region.”

The white paper places the NBN as a core part of the Gillard Government’s productivity agenda. Australia’s trade links with Asia will be at least one-third of GDP by 2025, up from one-quarter in 2011.

"It is a platform that will underpin our engagement with Asian countries and allow Australia to realise the enormous potential of our region," said Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy.

While the white paper discuss the telecoms sectors recent reforms including the structural separation of Telstra as setting up a more competitive environment it does not mention connectivity to Asia outside of the NBN’s domestic infrastructure or outline technology engagement strategies with our Asian neighbours in depth.

"The White Paper highlights the importance of the National Broadband Network in supporting our engagement with Asian countries, whether it’s supporting education and business, or investing in and taking advantage of new technology," Conroy said.

The paper notes that the NBN would help facilitate education for students to undertake Asian studies and Asian language courses and strengthen Australia’s productivity performance enabling Australian companies to have better access to Asian markets and ensure Australia can take full advantage of the potential of cloud computing.

"Like Japan, Singapore, and South Korea, the Gillard Government is investing in super-fast broadband because we understand how fundamentally important the digital economy is for Australia’s continued economic growth and social well being," Conroy said. ®

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