Analysts hail Burma's untapped IT goldmine
Tech firms will be queuing up for Asia's 'unpolished gem'
Forget China, Burma could be the next big growth market for IT investors as long as the country continues its political and social reforms, according to IDC.
The analyst’s latest report, Myanmar ICT Market 2012–2016 Forecast and Analysis, predicts 15 per cent year-on-year growth in IT spending this year, with the market reaching $268.45m (£172.9m) by 2016 as IT propels the country’s re-integration into the global economy.
IDC highlighted telecoms infrastructure and the rather vague “business investments in IT” as the two main growth areas in the industry, with the leading verticals predicted to be government, utility and energy, financial services, hospitality, and media.
When it comes to telecoms, however, those multinational IT firms looking to secure first-mover advantage in the country will have to wait until the government passes new laws allowing foreign investment, the report claimed.
Continued political reform and the relaxing of media censorship will also be crucial in spurring businesses on to improve their processes and consumers to adopt new technologies, said IDC.
The overwhelming opportunities in Burma will come in hardware, with the category accounting for 87 per cent of IT spend in 2011, according to the analyst.
Lam Nguyen, IDC director for Indochina, told The Reg that mobile devices, PC and PC accessories, peripherals and network equipment are all likely to see strong growth.
The once-closed nation also has the potential to be a serious offshoring destination for manufacturing, like its near neighbour Vietnam, “due to its greenfield, low-cost and young labour force”, he added.
“The country needs to invest the labour force with strong soft skills and vocational training in order to realise its potential,” said Nguyen.
One country keen to get its hooks into Burma will be China, whose government, technology firms and other businesses have already invested billions into Africa over the years, for partly economic, partly political reasons.
In fact, never one to worry too much about human rights violations or international sanctions, China has been investing large sums into Burma for years, focused mainly on tapping its energy and natural resources for use back home.
The likes of Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo and others will certainly be queuing up to have a crack now the country's international exile finally appears to be over. ®
New dead souls assylum found, usual suspects agitated, news at 10
Right, military dictatorship, no unions, minimal daily wage roughly in line with the price of a McDonalds happy meal (in its cheaper days) and most importantly - no accountability and a whole raft of local "law enforcement" lined up ready for a wad of cash to look elsewhere.
I love the smell of "Dead Souls" early in the morning, it smells like... Profits...
Of course there is a lot of agitation in a particular part of the IT community the part of the "IT community" which is salivating at the sight of a new place where you can move an arbitrary amount of money from left pocket to the right pocket by having 10 Dead Souls for every "real" IT worker.
Someone should go to Gogol's grave and listen if the giggling and laughter can be audible above ground. It is quite entertaining how the seminal work of the father of Russian comedy and satire about the fraud and embezzlement in the 19th century Russian civil service still applies to "cost saving" operations in "technology intensive" industries.
If the country is a consumer of goods and natural resources we support democracy all right. That's profitable.
I cannot think of a single instance of where the "West" has supported democratic leanings in major suppliers of resources, goods and labor.
100+ years of Banana republics (thank you O' Henry for coining this marvelous term), 40 odd years of propping Saudi and their smaller Gulf bretheren, our "support" for democracy in China and now out of all Myanmar. Yep. We support democracy all right. Unless there is oil, trinkets or helpdesks involved.
I sometimes wonder about the West's "commitment to democracy & freedom". Are we promoting democracy for its intrinsic value or so that we can cram consummerism down the throats of "free" countries.
somewhere else to outsource help desks to.
There does seem to be something distastefully unethical about making cost savings by outsourcing labour to countries where the sort of working conditions they endure were rightly outlawed in the West long ago.