A leap into the new millennium.

Seminar: "A leap into the new millennium..."
Nicosia, Dec 14 (CNA)

Cyprus Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou said here today that during the year 2000 all strategic systems in Cyprus would be interconnected over the Government Data Work to permit the prompt exchange of information between departments. Addressing a seminar entitled "A leap into the new millennium - the emerging multimedia and information technology challenge", said "interconnection of all strategic systems over the Government Data Network will allow us to create information kiosks for the provision of services to the public".
The two-day seminar was organised jointly by the Cyprus Bureau of Shipping with the cooperation of the Integrated Media Systems Centre at the University of Southern California, Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture, the Information Department at the University of Cyprus, the Cyprus Development Bank, the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority and the Cyprus Technology Institute. Christodoulou noted that such applications would be user -friendly, simple and efficient so as to be easily accessible by the public in general. The Finance Minister pointed out that the transformation of Cyprus into an international and regional information services centre was a very feasible prospect, "given our comparative advantages". He said the development of large data banks and telecommunications, servicing the needs of not only domestic companies, but also international businesses, would promote further the role of Cyprus as an international business centre. Christodoulou mentioned in addition that the government's vision was to introduce the lesson of information technology from the first class of the primary school, which was already the case in neighbouring countries, like Israel. Speaking later to journalists the Minister stressed the enormous importance of this seminar for Cyprus "because it shows the right dimension of the decisive role that technology plays and will play mainly during the years to come in all fields..." Andreas Phylaktou, Permanent Secretary of the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture, told the seminar that education cannot avoid being extensively affected by the information technology revolution and the global dramatic changes occurring at the dawn of the new millennium. He added the educational revolution is becoming more demanding because of the incredible rate of changes and the challenges of the future. Phylactou noted that today's model of knowledge flow from the teacher to the pupil would be replaced by a new model of a reciprocal learning experience with constant interaction and creativity. Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cyprus Development Bank John Strongylos said the challenge for Cyprus was not to aim to lead the information revolution but to find ways to remain informed and to accept and apply the results of this information revolution towards its economical development. He pointed out that information technology, multimedia and communication technologies are expected to influence positively the Cyprus economy in its totality. They will help Cyprus improve its products and services and enable the business community to concentrate on those businesses and processes and offer a comparative advantage vis-a-vis other countries and become a centre of excellence for services such as tourism, shipping, banking and finance insurance, professional and consulting services, medical services, educational training and last but not least information technology. During today's sessions of the seminar there will be speeches by professors of the University of Cyprus, the University of Athens and the University of Southern California. Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cyprus Bureau of Shipping Marios Eliades spoke during today's morning session presenting the issue "Information and Multimedia technology in Cyprus for the new millennium".


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