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Digital economy offers new opportunities, new businesses, new jobs, says minister

By Constantinos Psillides

COMMUNICATIONS and Works Minister Marios Demetriades has expressed the government’s support for initiatives that involve innovation.

Addressing a seminar on digital economy, Demetriades said that investment in growth and future innovation is undoubtedly a must, expressing the government’s pledge to promote and support innovation initiatives whether via state or EU co-financed funds.

“Digital economy presents us with new opportunities, creates new businesses and new jobs. European commissioner for Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes said that for every traditional job lost, digital economy creates two and a half new jobs. So, we should aim to invest in research and innovation for tomorrow, so that we can take advantage and understand every chance we get,” the minister said.

He noted that digital entrepreneurship and the public sector’s digital modernisation constitute the most important goals.

Digital entrepreneurship, he continued, is important since small and medium sized companies are the backbone of the Cypriot economy and should be supported by funding programmes on the use of ICT and on the promotion of e-trade.

“There are a lot of talented people working to make their ideas a reality and create new businesses. The so called ‘startup’ companies are gaining more and more ground. Last year the creators of ‘Angry Birds’ raked in over $150m, while Skype handles a third of the global international calls. I believe that the digital economy is a step towards the future and anyone not adequately prepared won’t reap the benefits of tomorrow,” said Demetriades.

At the same time, Demetriades added that modernising the public sector and providing e-services can play an important role in strengthening the use of electronic media and broadband applications and services by both citizens and businesses.

This, in turn, will reduce the administrative burden on businesses which will lead to saving millions on a yearly basis.

Emphasis, he said, will be placed on the objective of training both staff and citizens.

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