If successful it will place Wales firmly on the internet map and .wales and .cymru will join other internationally recognised domain names like .co.uk and .com.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) revealed today which companies, organizations, start-ups, geographical regions and others have applied for generic top level domains and which domain names they are seeking. They received more than 1900 applications and Wales is one of 67 designated geographical names applied for.
First Minister Carwyn Jones described it as an important step forward in the process. He said:
"The new domain names would create a fantastic opportunity for Wales that would support the development of businesses, communities and the Welsh language online.
"If successful it means we could use the top level domain names to establish a strong on-line presence which truly reflects our national identity."
Business Minister Edwina Hart said:
"The new domains would have the potential to bring significant economic benefits to Wales and we would want to ensure that if successful the domain is managed in a way that will create the maximum benefits and opportunities for all.
"The new domains would strengthen Wales’s global identity, promote business growth and encourage the exploitation of digital technologies across all sectors."
Nominet, the registry currently responsible for managing the .uk domain names, submitted the applications and if approved has committed to establishing an office base in Wales to deliver the .wales and .cymru domain names, which could create up to nine new jobs.
Nominet CEO Lesley Cowley said:
"Nominet funded the application for both .cymru and .wales domains, and as a not-for-profit organisation, is committed to investing profits back into projects that help Welsh society. We will run the domains on a fully-bilingual basis and we will publish our own Welsh Language Scheme in due course."