28 February 2002

Q14 Alison Halford:

 Will the Minister make a statement on what has been done to promote e-business in north Wales? (OAQ15974)


Andrew Davies:

 ‘Cymru Ar-lein—Online for a Better Wales’ details how the Welsh Assembly Government plans to transform the economy of Wales through the application of ICT.We support a range of projects that involve the promotion of e-commerce and the provision of advice on ICT to businesses. These include Opportunity Wales, the all-Wales network of ICT support centres, the annual e-commerce awards and a commitment to the development of access to broadband technologies.
Opportunity Wales, a large-scale Objective 1 project, will help thousands of businesses benefit from e-commerce. A new Opportunity Wales pilot has recently been agreed for north Wales. Opportunity Wales is not the only e-commerce project running in Wales, but it is the biggest.
As part of our commitment to raising the profile of e-commerce we are co-sponsoring the Welsh heat of the UK online for business/InterForum E-commerce Awards. These awards recognise and reward those organisations that have demonstrated excellence through the use of the internet.
Access to affordable infrastructure is fundamental to driving forward the e-business agenda. Significant strides have been made including support for Strand 6 of the Llwybr/Pathway project that brings ADSL availability to 10 rural towns across Wales, including Bangor, Denbigh, Holyhead and Llandudno in north Wales.

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