Gates Addresses Asian Business Leaders in Hong Kong

HONG KONG, March 9, 1999 — Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates today addressed more than 160 Asian CEOs and CIOs at the Asia Enterprise Summit, a two-day event in which business leaders from over 30 diverse industries met to share information and discuss how technology can help them improve their businesses.

Gates joined MIT Media Lab director and best-selling author Nicholas Negroponte; Acer CEO Stan Shih; Microsoft CIO John Connors; Microsoft Windows Marketing and Developer Relations director Rich Kaplan; and other technology leaders for face-to-face meetings with Asian business leaders to discuss how they can build strong IT infrastructures.

In his keynote speech, Gates explained how Asian companies can utilize digital nervous systems to build the “high-performance company of the future.” He explained that an effective communications infrastructure involving all aspects of the business can help reduce costs and increase efficiency.

“The digital nervous system vision is a transformation in the way business is done,” Gates said. “It’s an opportunity to take advantage of the talents of employees in a new way and reach out to new customers.”

Additionally, he pointed out that “digital nervous systems allow governments and companies to exchange information without barriers within the organization, and with other companies and users.”

Citing an example of a successful digital infrastructure, Gates said that the Hong Kong Government’s Interactive Government Service Directory, to be launched later this month, will use information technology such as PCs and Web phones to provide easy access to more than a dozen government services. This infrastructure puts information such as job listings and traffic data at the fingertips of every Hong Kong citizen.

He also praised the successful digital infrastructure of the North China Power Group (NCPG), which deployed an Energy Management System that allows the company access to real-time data acquisition, query and control systems, providing key information to the organization’s decision-makers.

This week, Gates will meet with industry and government leaders throughout Asia. PressPass will provide complete coverage of his activities. Check back daily for further news and updates.

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