Photo - (3rd from Left) Cheah Kok Hoong, PIKOM Chairman exchanging documents with Yvonne Chiu, CISA Chairman. Witnessing is Bunrak Saraggananda, ASOCIO Chairman.
Malaysia's national ICT industry association, PIKOM, is to chair the first dedicated taskforce, set up by the Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organisation (ASOCIO), to address the challenges posed from the implementation by year end of the Asean Economic Community (AEC).
The announcement of the regional ASOCIO ASEAN Economic Community Digital Taskforce (AADT) was made during the ASOCIO PIKOM ICT Leadership Summit held earlier this week in Kuala Lumpur, which attracted 700 delegates from around the region.
Taskforce members comprise ICT leaders from various ASEAN member countries that are part of ASOCIO. Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam are founding members of the taskforce with more expected to join in the near future.
During the media conference, PIKOM chairman Cheah Kok Hoong said the taskforce will provide much needed guidance to help position the ICT industry a single market based on free movement of talent, goods, resources and services.
"PIKOM has voiced the need for a specific team to look into AEC and we are glad to see this materialise today," said Cheah. "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."
"The taskforce will solicit input from member countries and formulate papers for submission to ICANN, OECD, ASEAN and their respective governments on policy initiatives to spur growth," he said.
Impact on ICT
Cheah said key areas to be addressed by the taskforce include the impact of taxation on the ICT industry, e-business; standardisation of systems and processes as well as mutual recognition arrangements and agreements across the region.
Other areas of focus will be on the digital divide and socio-economic gaps between ASEAN member countries in key areas such as broadband penetration, ICT infrastructure, disposal income, market sophistication as well as salary arbitrage in the region as clearly shown by PIKOM's recent ICT Job Market Outlook survey.
Commenting on PIKOM's appointment as taskforce chair, ASOCIO chairman Bunrak Saraggananda said: "PIKOM has shown strong leadership and the willingness to lead the taskforce that will drive a common platform and understanding towards addressing common interest in the region. [PIKOM will lead the taskforce consisting of Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam among others.]"
National ICT agency MultImedia Development Corporation (MDeC) chief executive officer, Dato' Yasmin Mahmood confirmed her support for PIKOM's initiative during the keynote address of the conference that the formation of the regional digital taskforce was timely in addressing AEC implementation and its impact on the ICT industry.
Signing of MoUs: PIKOM & CISA
During the same event, PIKOM signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with its Taiwanese counterpart - Information Service Industry (CISA) to pave the way for closer collaboration and co-operation between Malaysia and Taiwan.
The MoU will see both economies working closer to facilitate knowledge sharing, transfer of technology, business matching as well as several bilateral inter-market ICT delegation visitations to tap best practices and ideas between both nations. Also in the pipeline are joint high-level discussions as well as trade delegations, exhibitions and business exchange meetings.
"We are pleased to be building a bridge with CISA for the purpose of mutual support, learning and co-operation towards promoting the development of ICT in both economies. Malaysia can tap on Taiwan's expertise in areas such as Internet of Things (IoT), technology miniaturisation and many other emerging trends. Likewise, Malaysia also has plenty to offer Taiwan in ICT services," said Cheah.
ASOCIO's members account for more than 10,000 ICT companies and represent approximately US$350 billion of ICT revenue in the region.
Sign up for MIS Asia eNewsletters.