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Australian Services Symposium, Summit and Dinner at Parliament House

On 23 and 24 March the Australian Services Roundtable held a Symposium, Summit and Dinner at Parliament House in Canberra. The theme was "Services Driving Growth" and IBM was a key sponsor of the event. The event was one of the first occasions when media, industry, academia and leading politicians attended the same forum to discuss Australia's services future.

Highlights of the event were leading economics writer Michael Stutchbury from the Australian Newspaper giving the keynote address to the Symposium on international competitiveness in ther services sector. This was followed by a discussion on how to achieve productivity growth and innovation in the services sector with representatives from IBM, Glenn Wightwick, Director IBM R&D Lab, and Kris Singh, IBMer and President of the Services Research and Innovation Institute (via video link), plus CEOs from the accounting, IT, Tourism, Education, Legal, Engineering and Architectual professions. The role of ICT in every industry in creating productivity gains was a clear theme throughout the sessions - which was presented against a backdrop of one of our Smarter Planet banners!

The ASR dinner, hosted by IBM, was held in the PM Private Dining Room at Parliament House.

Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ms Julie Bishop MP was the keynote speaker at the cocktail event and spoke on the topic of 'Prospects for Improving Services Trade'. In particular Ms Bishop, with whom GP has had a good relationship over many years, spoke very favourably about the role of IBM in investing in ICT services in Australia, an area where Australia had great potential to deliver into the AP region and beyond.

The keynote speaker at the ASR dinner was the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy. He gave an excellent speech on ‘The NBN and Australia’s Trade in Services Future’, and also specifically mentioned IBM's smarter planet and digital vision, as well as our investments in the R&D Lab.

This was followed by a Breakfast with the Hon David Bradbury MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer in which the reasons and potential cure for Australia's slowing rate of productivity growth was discussed.

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