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Bug attacks weakened Asia

PARTS of Asia struggling to overcome the effects of the recent financial crisis may be struck down by the Y2K bug.

Small Business Development Corporation managing director George Etrelezis said some South East Asian nations were not well placed to deal with Y2K.

“Australian businesses dealing with Asia could be hurt,” Mr Etrel-ezis said. “This could lead to another recession.”

“There is a warning sign there. Businesses dealing with Asia should not only check out if their supplier is Y2K compliant but also how the local economy will affect them.”

At a recent Y2K Infrastructure forum, Senator Ian Campbell said the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was making assessments of Asia’s Y2K readiness.

Singapore, virtually untouched by the financial crisis, has been given the highest Y2K readiness rating by the Global 2000 Coordinating Group.

But there have also been reports of Thailand having to switch off anti-aircraft missile batteries before New Year’s Eve to prevent any Y2K glitches causing unexpected missile launches.

Senator Campbell said the recent financial crisis had made it hard for some nations to concentrate on Y2K.

“Having said that, even the worst hit nations have been expending enormous efforts to become compliant in the past six months,” he said.

Australia could benefit from any Y2K problems in Asia.

Y2K Infrastructure Forum CEO Graeme Inchley said when the Asian crisis hit, Australia prospered.

“Australia is well prepared for Y2K. If our neighbours have problems, it could turn into an opportunity to build the reputation of Australian information technology skills in the region.”

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