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ICT industry group seeks opportunities in region

THE ASSOCIATION of Thai ICT Ind-ustry will focus this year on opening opportunities for the Thai information-technology industry in Indo-china, especially Myanmar with its high-potential market. President Adirak Patitus said yesterday that as a member of the Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organ-isation, the ATCI had been connecting with Myanmar for 15 years. This year is the right time to enter the market fully.

The ATCI aims to help 20 Thai IT firms penetrate the Myanmar market via a software and solutions approach through working with local partners. The goal is to help them to establish a presence in Myanmar by providing software solutions, such as cloud-based platforms, rather than selling only hardware. There is also a need for customisation and localisation.

"But for critical systems, customers require software and solutions installed in their offices rather than cloud-based systems," he said.

In July, the ATCI will host a networking session in Yangon, and then the Thailand Pavilion at the Myanmar ICT Exhibition in November in the same city.

Myanmar's IT market is growing at 10-20 per cent. Telecom-munications and banking are the priority industries with demand for IT investment, followed by the real sector including manufacturing, healthcare, tourism and logistics.

Myanmar has more than 25 banks requiring IT to enhance their core banking and Net banking systems.

IT spending in Myanmar is expected to amount to several thousands of baht, mostly in IT infrastructure as well as servers and storage. The personal-computer market in 2012 was a million units, of which 600,000 were notebooks and 400,000 desktop PCs.

Myanmar is home to 564 IT firms, mostly in Yangon and Mandalay. About 70 per cent are hardware firms, 20 per cent IT services and training and 10 per cent software companies.

"There are lots of opportunities for us. We will work through four IT-related associations in Myanmar - the Myanmar Computer Industry Asso-ciation, Myanmar Computer Federa-tion, Myanmar Computer Professional Association and Myanmar Computer Enthusiasts - as well as Myanmar business and industrial associations.

"We will use our connections to match Thai IT providers with potential customers," he said.

Laos is the next target market, set for next year, followed by Cambodia and Vietnam.

The Thai ICT industry this year is expected to expand 5-8 per cent, as IT investment has been suspended in the whole real sector as well as in the telecom and banking industries and the public sector.


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