Pikom to propose special Asean Economic Community task force for ICT
By Goh Thean Eu September 14, 2015
- To look into digital divide and social-economic gaps between Asean members, etc.
- Expects 500 C-level execs to attend Asocio Pikom ICT Leadership Summit 2015
THE National ICT Association of Malaysia (Pikom) will propose that the Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organisation (Asocio) set up a task force to address common policy matters related to ICT and the Asean Economic Community (AEC).
Pikom will make the proposal at the upcoming Asocio Pikom ICT Leadership Summit 2015, which will be held in early October at the Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre in Subang Jaya.
The AEC, which will officially kick off on Dec 31, 2015, would facilitate trade and investments between members of Asean (the Association of South-East Asian Nations).
Pikom is a member of Asocio, the umbrella body of ICT industry associations in Asia Pacific. Asocio has two meetings a year, with the next scheduled to be held during the upcoming summit.
“We plan to set up the task force at the summit … but the members of the task force have not been determined yet,” Pikom chairman Cheah Kok Hoong told the media at the Pikom office in Petaling Jaya on Sept 11.
Cheah said Asocio task forces raise issues and makes recommendations to the Asocio council, which will then take matters forward.
“There are several task forces within [Asocio]; for example, we have a task force on research and we have one for events, but there isn’t any task force for the AEC yet,” he said.
Asocio, which was set up in 1984, represents 31 economies comprising 24 member countries, including Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Macao, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
Asocio aims to promote and foster relationships and trade between its members, and to develop the computing industry in the region.
Cheah said that the ICT industry in South-East Asia currently employs some 11.7 million people, contributing over US$32 billion to the region’s gross domestic product (GDP).
“The number is poised to grow significantly after AEC policy and programme implementation formally takes shape by Dec 31, giving rise to new opportunities in digital business trends that will drive ICT adoption in the region,” he declared.
“Under the Asean ICT Master Plan 2015, ICT will continue to be a major driver in all aspects of AEC for the next few decades,” he added.
The Asean ICT Master Plan has six strategic thrusts: Economic Transformation; Engagement and Empowerment; Innovation; Infrastructure Development; Human Capital Development; and Bridging the Digital Divide.
“The digital divide and social-economic gaps between Asean member countries in key areas such as broadband penetration, ICT infrastructure, disposable income, and market sophistication, are good areas to start looking for opportunities,” Cheah said.
“Malaysian companies can either venture into under-developed markets to provide basic products, services and infrastructure, or penetrate more developed economies with sophisticated solutions.
“The market is huge, so companies should look to establish a niche area in which they can excel,” he added.
Anticipating strong turnout
Meanwhile, Cheah said Pikom is expecting some 500 C-level executives to participate at the Asocio Pikom ICT Leadership Summit 2015, to be held from Oct 6-7.
So far, 200 such executives from Malaysia have confirmed their attendance, and 200 from outside Malaysia have indicated that they will attend, according to Pikom.
The two-day event will feature speakers such as the former deputy governor of Bank Negara (Malaysia’s central bank) Lin See-Yan; Silverlake Axis founder Dr Goh Peng Ooi; author of The Idea Book Fredrik Haren; Fusionex founder Ivan Teh; and chairman of the Asean Business Advisory Council Malaysia Mohd Munir Majid.
“The summit is a C-level thought leadership event that is specially designed to cover the highest leadership trends and insights, with the intent to spur innovation and adoption of new technologies and business models to drive ICT growth in the region,” said Cheah (pic).
With its theme Reinventing Leadership in the Digital Age, the summit will be held in conjunction with other keynote events such as the MSC Malaysia Apicta Awards ceremony and gala night.
Cheah said the summit will also be a good opportunity for domestic companies to network with companies outside Malaysia, to help them expand regionally.
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