PHOTO - Shaifubahrim Saleh, president of PIKOM.
Against the backdrop of the increasing likelihood of Asia entering yet another recession, Computerworld Malaysia presents in random order some of the Malaysian industry practitioners and vendors' views, recommendations and expectations about the country's various ICT sectors in the year ahead.
An edited version of this 'virtual roundtable', called What Lies Ahead, together with images of all spokespersons is published in the January/February 2012 print edition of Computerworld Malaysia, which is available to the magazine's subscribers only.
The first contribution is from the president of the National ICT Association of Malaysia (PIKOM) for an overview of national enterprise IT trends, and followed by top executives in Malaysia from companies that include Intel, Dell, Nokia Siemens Networks, JARING Communications, Brocade, Avaya, Interactive Intelligence (ININ), Emerson Network Power, Dataprep Holdings, CyberSecurity Malaysia, IMPACT, Symantec, and Fortinet.
Shaifubahrim Saleh, president of PIKOM (National ICT Association of Malaysia):
The economic crisis in Eurozone, as well as delayed growth in the United States, is having some negative impact on the Malaysian economy, including the ICT [information communications technology] sector, as 22 percent of Malaysian exports are targeted at these markets. However, growing trade with Asian countries, in particular China, Singapore, other ASEAN countries and Japan accounted for 58 percent of total exports, which has tended to provide some cushioning.
In Malaysia, the ICT sector is poised to register double digit growth [in 2012], not less than 10 percent, provided sound economic conditions continue to prevail in Malaysia and Asia. Malaysian ICT sector growth, especially the ICT services sector, is increasingly dependent on demands arising from fast growing markets in China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. Over the years, trade dependencies have incrementally shifted from western orientation towards Asia, where the economy is on the rise. Indeed, during the last Global Financial Crisis 2009, Malaysia rebounded back at much faster rate once China's growth came back on track. This is because bulk of Malaysian ICT products and services especially from the ICT production sector are exported to the Chinese market. Similarly, Malaysia is also importing large volumes of ICT products and services from China. In comparison, it took a slow come back after the Asian Financial Crisis in 1998, when Malaysia's electronics exports and imports were more dependent on the West, particularly the US.
Poised for growth
The ICT Services sector is poised to register further growth with the aggressive promulgation of the country's Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and Government Transformation Programme (GTP). Both programmes' initiatives are either ICT driven or are ICT-intensive. For instance, of the total of 131 Entry Point Projects (EPP), 28 are ICT intensive EPPs and 57 are ICT enabled EPPs. Similarly of the 60 ICT business opportunities, eight (8) are ICT intensive business opportunities and 13 are ICT enabled business opportunities. More so, of the eight strategic reform initiatives (SRI), five are energised by ICT. These include re-energising the private sector, strengthening the public sector, building a knowledge based infrastructure, developing a quality workforce and enhancing new sources of growth.
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