MSC efforts bear fruit

Efforts made in the last decade has enabled Malaysia's information and communications technology industry to make major leaps and no longer become subservient to primarily import-oriented, foreign-based technologies.

Efforts made in the last decade has enabled the country's information and communications technology (ICT) industry to make major leaps and no longer become subservient to primarily import-oriented, foreign-based technologies.

CYBERJAYA (MSCTimes.com) - Through the government's master plan - the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) - the industry has seen the birth of local innovations that are now leading the global ICT industry, said Datuk Amar Leo Moggie, Minister of Energy, Communications and Multimedia.

With approximately 1,500 IT companies in Malaysia today, the revenue forecast from IT sales for 2000 is estimated to boom to almost RM6 billion (US$1.6 billion), which is a 13% growth from last year, he said late yesterday.

Moreover, by the end of this year, the number of active installed PCs in Malaysia is estimated to be around 2.2 million, while the number of Internet subscribers is estimated to grow to 1.6 million.

"The manufacturing, and banking and finance sectors take up 17% and 14%, respectively, of the total Malaysian IT expenditure," the Minister said during the MoU signing ceremony between the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDC) and Korea Institute of Multimedia Contents & Software (KOMS).

Korean Information Technology Symposium
The MoU, which leads to the formation of the Korean Information Technology Symposium (KITS) 2000 in Malaysia, is the first collaboration between both the parties.

The two-day KITS will see 30 companies each from Malaysia and Korea participating in the symposium consisting of a presentation by MDC on the MSC and an update by KOMS on its activities. Additionally, 137 one-to-one meetings have been scheduled for companies from both countries.

Under this MoU, both parties are to jointly explore IT projects that can be accomplished by MDC and KOMS or by third parties identified.

When requested to elaborate on these projects, MDC executive chairman, Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Othman Yeop Abdullah said it pertains to projects in e-commerce; smart school programmes in education; exploring the developments of Internet security, namely encryption, network security and such; and content creation, amongst others.

Other areas which both countries will be co-operating and collaborating on are in the exchanging of information and sharing of ideas about strategies and best practices in nurturing the local IT and multimedia companies as well as access to venture capital funds and networking amongst incubators.

Seeing that Korea is ranked 2nd after Japan in total domestic IT and hardware spending as well as ranked as one of the leading Asian countries in that area, Othman said it is appropriate for both countries to leverage on each other "to compete with the more developed countries".

Moggie added that Korea is recognised as a hub for the cellular phone technology and has the world's 8th largest PC-installed base, and the 3rd in Asia in terms of number of Internet hosts. What's more, Korea also has its own masterplan, similar to the MSC called the Cyber Korea 21.