Sydney welcomes CeBIT

Last Tuesday morning I opened the annual CeBIT conference at Darling Harbour.

Around 30,000 people visited Sydney for the conference, which focused on everything from cyber security and supply chain logistics to working in the cloud and taking advantage of big data.

Australian and international companies and technology specialists took part in conferences and exhibitions to meet, share ideas and showcase innovations.

Of particular significance for us was the focus on start-ups - an increasingly significant part of urban economies world-wide, and one that is thriving in Sydney.

As the world's economic focus shifts to this region, Sydney is building on its already strong assets - including the skilled workforce and multi-cultural population, its strong financial sector, its liveability, and connectivity to growing economies in Asia.

We are a major hub in the Asia-Pacific, uniquely positioned as a nexus between East and West.

Our city has always been quick to embrace technology and we have a history of ingenuity and fresh ideas, backed up by a wide choice of high-quality educational institutions.

We are also Australia's leading centre for finance and business services that are essential partners to start-ups. In fact 70 per cent of all banks and other financial institutions in Australia have their headquarters in Sydney.

Sydney is our country's centre of technology, media and telecommunications companies, with one in seven people employed in Australia's entire digital economy located in Sydney.

We also have the highest concentrations of people working in data processing, web hosting as well as in internet publishing and broadcasting.

The City of Sydney is proud of our young innovators and enterprising start-ups. While the big levers of change are in the hands of the Federal and State Governments, we are working to support start-ups and new enterprise.

We've provided space in City-owned commercial properties for these innovators, giving them the opportunity to work among their peers while remaining close to the sources of legal, commercial and financial advice.

We are focused on smart growth and the knowledge economy, and building the city as a centre of excellence. Information technology is the key to such growth, and is increasingly important in the growth of Sydney's economy.

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