Technology Market Scan

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1 Technology Market Scan INTERNATIONAL Nanotechnology forecast The promise of nanotechnology, the control of novel properties of materials that are the result of nano-scale dimensions, has inspired private companies, governments, and venture capitalists to invest approximately US$ 10 billion globally in 2005, with investment levels expected to remain steady in In addition, nanotechnology is forecast to contribute to US$ 2.6 trillion of manufactured goods globally in 2015, according to Lux Research, and the production of these goods will require nano materials, metrology, and manufacturing technologies. Electronics is leading nanotechnology commercialization. Semiconductors with features below 90 nm, novel forms of semiconductor memories, nano-electromechanical data storage, organic displays, carbon nanotube (CNT) field emission displays (FED) and backlight units (BLU), thin-film hard disk storage using perpendicular recording, various sensors, and many of the devices currently under development for the next generation of electronic gadgets are nanoelectronics. Some represent evolutionary advancements, while others are significant departures from traditional technologies. The markets for nanoelectronic devices were estimated to be approximately US$ 60 billion in 2005 and are forecast to reach US$ 250 billion by 2010, according to a study published by SEMI and the SIA. The corresponding markets for nano equipment and materials used to manufacture these devices was pegged at US$ 1.8 billion, with revolutionary nano materials, tools and equipment such as extreme ultra violet lithography (EUVL), nano imprint lithography (NIL), CNT, catalysts and nano wires for electronic applications representing 10 per cent of the total. This sector is forecast to reach US$ 4.2 billion globally in 2010, with the portion growing to 20 per cent of the total. Nano materials for electronics represented a US$ 250 million market in 2005, excluding licence revenues (see Table). Worldwide market sizes for nano materials for electronics Nano material Catalysts Coatings Designer molecules Engineered substrates Fullerenes/Nanotubes Nano composites Nano particles Nano wires Precursors Slurries Total (US$ m) $ $ Designer molecules - including 193 nm photoresists and photoresists for immersion lithography, and packaging resins - are currently the largest nano materials market segment, accounting for more than 50 per cent of the market. The second largest segment is nano coatings, including low-k and high-k dielectrics at US$ 50 million. Self assembly techniques are most probable in these two materials segments, to enable highly tailored properties, films a few atoms thick, conformality, and a number of other desirable properties. The third largest nano materials segment is nanotubes, with CNT the primary market driver. Purification technology and high-volume manufacturing capabilities, with adequate reproducibility and control, remain critical areas requiring improvement for CNT. However, CNT will undoubtedly play a significant role in the electronics industry in the future, as it is already doing in the sporting goods, automotive, and aerospace industries. ASIA-PACIFIC IT spending expected to increase IT manufacturing spending in the Asia- Pacific region, excluding Japan, is expected to reach US$ 22 billion in 2010, an analyst s forecast said. This year, the industry is forecast to be worth US$ 16.3 billion, up from US$ 15 billion in 2005, said Tan Mang Teck, research director for Manufacturing Insights. The top three sub-industry segments in terms of IT expenditures are hightechnology, automotive and chemical, he told The Business Times. The greater China region is the largest manufacturing spender, followed by Australia and New Zealand, South Korea, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India, he said. Within ASEAN, Singapore manufacturing IT spending is the largest, followed by Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, Tan was quoted as saying. Singapore and Malaysia together made up more than half of total ASEAN manufacturing IT expenditures last year. The forecast growth for IT hardware in Singapore is almost zero for the next five years, Tan said. For IT vendors who are pure hardware players, they will risk losing market share to competitors who offer a more complete solutions set comprising hardware, software and services, he said. Another risk is the relocation of manufacturing facilities from Singapore to such emerging economies as China and India. To mitigate this risk, IT vendors need to regionalize, Tan told the newspaper. SMBs using broadband in Southeast Asia Between 2006 and 2010, the number of broadband-enabled SMBs in Southeast Asia (SEA) will increase by over 850,000, according to AMI-Partners. Emerging countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, and Viet Nam will fuel this growth, with adoption by SMBs in these countries comprising over 55 per cent of overall broadband SMBs in the region. Spending on broadband by these SMBs will exceed US $2 billion by 2010, with Indonesia contributing the lion s share of spending. Within the Southeast Asia region, Singapore stands out from the rest of its neighbours with its impressive broadband penetration rates which is fore- TECH MONITOR Sep-Oct

2 casted to exceed 75 per cent by 2010, said Cindy Sim, a Singapore-based analyst for AMI- Partners. This growth will be spurred by continued positive government intervention, dropping access prices, growing exposure to the World Wide Web and increasing importance and necessity of the Internet to SMBs in terms of brand establishment, e-commerce and communication with suppliers and customers. Malaysia and Thailand were ranked 2nd and 3rd in terms of SMB broadband penetration in 2005, and will continue to retain their respective positions in Viet Nam, which was ranked lowest in terms of SMB broadband penetration, will bring up the rear. In terms of Internet access modes, narrowband access is clearly in decline. In 2010, narrowband penetration is expected to comprise less than onequarter of SMBs in SEA who access the Internet for their business, down from 50 per cent in This will be driven by factors such as dropping prices of broadband, increasing use of applications such as VOIP, and hosted solutions which will drive the need for speed and bandwidth. Not surprisingly, the adoption of narrowband is more widespread amongst SBs than MBs. For the medium business in SEA employing between employees, leased lines will be a popular consideration, with expected compound annual growth exceeding 45 per cent from Not surprisingly, leased-line penetration is highest in Singapore, followed by Malaysia. This will be driven largely by the need for scalable bandwidth, as well as for consistent and reliable quality of service (QoS). Wireless broadband is expected to take off by 2010, with service providers in most countries in the region already rolling out or planning to roll out HSDPA, W-CDMA or WiMax. The increasing adoption of broadband will coincide with the proliferation of related applications offered by the likes of xsps. This will include software offered on a utility basis, as well as managed security solutions. BANGLADESH Biotech policy declared The government declared a National Biotechnology Policy in order to keep pace with the fast advancing field of modern biotechnology and achieve world class competence in the fields of research and innovation. A meting of the National Taskforce on Biotechnology of Bangladesh (NTFBB), with Prime Minister Khaleda Zia in the chair, gave final approval to the policy placed by the Ministry of Science, Information and Communication Technology. The approval of National Biotechnology Policy will be considered as a milestone in our effort to promote the highest level of science and technology in this country, said Science and ICT Minister Abdul Moyeen Khan. The policy will help increase agriculture productivity and food security, contribute to poverty alleviation and ensure a higher quality of life, he told The Daily Star after the meeting. He said the policy would open up a new window of opportunity for the resource- starved country like Bangladesh. Under the new policy, one can easily go into researches involving genetic engineering and open up a new vista of innovation and development involving living cells, be it human beings, animals or plants, he added. The policy also emphasized protecting indigenous community knowledge, collective innovations and community rights. For ensuring those, the Community Knowledge Protection Act will be enacted to give guidelines, where it is necessary, to innovations of any form that have used natural and biological resources. Immediate action programmes will also be taken for the development of biotechnology in the country in various sectors like agriculture, health, industry and environment. The programmes will reflect the urgent national needs and requirements in terms of funding manpower and equipment. An international biotechnology advisory committee will be formed with internationally recognized experts in different areas of biotechnology, to advise the government on priority areas of research and development. Besides, the science and ICT ministry will develop a priority plan in different areas of biotechnology to keep pace with the fast advancing field of biotechnology and genetic engineering for poverty alleviation, sustainable development, improvement of quality of life and biodiversity conservation. The new policy will encourage the universities to introduce and strengthen biotechnology and genetic engineering at the undergraduate and post graduate levels. At the same time the biotechnological courses will be introduced at the secondary and higher secondary levels through modification of existing course curricula on biology. Young graduates will be encouraged to undertake higher academic studies in leading universities abroad. The policy draft says that in biotechnology research, problems arise concerning the protection of intellectual property for innovations in this field beyond legal and ethical questions. In view of the special quality of living organisms the scope of patents has to be clearly defined to find a balance between innovation and public interest. Under the policy, legal measures will be taken to achieve a balanced system for protecting 4--TECH MONITOR Sep-Oct 2006

3 the interest of the innovation without compromising public interest. CHINA Technology imports up 60 per cent China signed 5,461 technology import contracts valued at US$ 13.2 billion in the first half of 2006, up 62.2 per cent over the previous year, according to the Ministry of Commerce. A report of the ministry said the railway transport industry signed contracts worth US$ 3.93 billion from January to June, eight times that of the same period last year. The electronics and telecommunications industry signed 782 technology import contracts, with the contractual value reaching US$ 2.79 billion, up 150 per cent. The European Union is still the number one technology exporter to China. In the first six months, China signed US$ 5.62 billion worth of technology import contracts with the EU, a rise of 45.7 per cent. Japan and the United States ranked second and third, with technology contracts signed with China standing at US$ 3.36 billion and US$ 2.08 billion, up 25.4 and 15.7 per cent respectively. 3G commercial usage this year The year 2006 will become the beginning year of the commercial usage of the 3G (third generation mobile) in China, according to a report by the Development Research Center of the State Council of China. The report quoted the Chinese government as saying that the conditions for 3G is mature. China s mobile telecommunication business has reached a certain scale. TD-SCD- MA started big scale commercial test. Major telecommunication operators began preparation for 3G. The report thus predicted that the licence for 3G will be issued in the second half of this year, although the exact date is uncertain. The report also predicted that telecommunication services will sustain the rapid growth momentum of the economy and that cost will be higher than the previous year. If the licence of 3G is issued by the year end, investment increase will be higher. SMEs to spend 500 bln yuan on IT products China s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are likely to spend 500 billion yuan on IT products in the next two years, according to a report released by a research company. The IT expenditure by the companies is expected to grow by 16.5 per cent this year over last year to billion yuan. Expenditure will most likely rise to billion yuan in 2008, said the report released by the China Center for Information Industry Development Consulting. Spending on computer hardware accounted for 67.6 per cent in last year s IT spending by SMEs, but its rate of growth is lower than that of the IT market as a whole. IT services grew by 20 per cent last year, said the report. (US$ 1 = 8.0 yuan) Proprietary innovations In 2010, high-tech products will take up 55 per cent and proprietary innovative products 20 per cent of the nation s total export volume for mechanical and electronic products, said Wei Jianguo, Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce, at a national meeting held in June, 2006, to discuss commercial applications of S&T findings in the fields of machinery and electronics. In 2005, China s high-tech export had reached US$ billion, eight times that of 1999, or 28.6 per cent of the nation s total export volume, with an increase of 16 per cent. The Ministry of Commerce has made rejuvenating trade with science and technology, one of the major projects initiated this year, said Wang Qinhua, Director, Department of Mechanic, Electronic, and High-Tech Industry, under the Ministry of Commerce. An earmark worth RMB 500 million will be made available to support industrial proprietary innovations. The Ministry will also accelerate the construction of export oriented innovation bases, in an attempt to establish high-tech agglomerates of strong innovation capability and international competitiveness. The efforts will eventually lead to the birth of 160 proprietary brandname products, covering a range of areas, including electronics and information, major equipment, biology, pharmaceuticals, and fine chemicals. INDIA Pharma majors brace for generic windfall The latest figures reveal that generic companies are looking at a bigger opportunity than ever - $ 73 billion in current annual sales - as patents on 103 blockbuster drugs in the US are slated to lapse over five years. As many as seven abbreviated new drug applications - one of the early steps towards launching a generic version - from India are expected to chase each one of these drugs. However, the expectations, given the experience, are more realistic than before. There is a consensus of sorts that Indian companies can hope to capture no more than $ billion of it. Even that will be a sizeable 28 per cent of the current size of the domestic market. Analysts warn that Indian companies should be ready to face a price erosion of per cent once the block- TECH MONITOR Sep-Oct

4 busters drugs, when protected by patents, become generic. I would be disappointed if Indian companies cornered anything less than a $ 1 billion of this incremental opportunity despite having the largest number of US Food & Drug Administration-approved sites outside the US and accounting for per cent of drug master filings and abbreviated new drug applications, said Sanjiv Kaul, managing director, ChrysCapital. Companies such as Ranbaxy Labs and Dr Reddy s Labs have begun positioning themselves to capture this market. We ll continue to focus on expanding the product flow and therapeutic width, said a spokesperson for Ran- baxy, which currently has 56 pending ANDA approvals, with First- To-Files, and last year derived 28 per cent of its revenues from the US. This opportunity will not come on a platter. Pricing pressures would continue to intensify; with a large number of generics players in the fray, authorized generics are here to stay, and innovator pharma are finding newer ways to retain market share post expiry, all of which put together could poop the generics party. Merck s tie up with United Health Group Inc. and WellPoint to sell its branded version of simvastatin, Zocor - at prices lower than those of the generics, thereby making them bleed - could serve as a precedent for others. There would be a dozen ANDAs filed for every drug, and to top it, the innovator pharmas are going to make life miserable for generics, said Amar Lulla, joint managing director, Cipla. Collaboration would be the key. Become authorized generics and research partners, tie up for bulk and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient supplies, and launch the marketing partners' products in India in return. Why compete and fragment the market so finely for all? said Sanjay Aggarwal, pharma sector leader, KPMG. IP protection mechanism of firms One-and-half years after India entered the product patents regime, companies here still have average mechanism to protect their intellectual property, even as frauds by way of IP infringements have accounted for up to two per cent of losses that firms incur, according to a study by global consulting firm KPMG. Given the intangible nature of IP, its management and evaluation is often forgotten or even ignored, resulting in loss of revenue, missed opportunities and increased exposure to competitive threats or even litigation, KPMG said in its India Fraud Survey Report According to the study, 59 per cent of the respondents said they rated their control/measure for IP protection to be average, while only 23 per cent said it was excellent and 18 per cent admitted it needed improvement. With a phenomenal increase in the number of patents being applied for and issued, and the growing recognition of the value of Intellectual Property (IP), protection against IP infringement is a cause for concern for organizations, the KPMG study, which questioned 1,000 organizations, both in the public and private sectors, said. Financial losses to an organization on account of IP infringement today stands at two per cent, said the study, adding that organizations have to address the challenges of building, utilizing and protecting the value of IP they own, use or have developed. The survey found that of the 68 per cent of respondents who owned some sort of IP, a majority did undertake reviews to safeguard IP, even as one in every five conceded they could do with some improvements on this front. While 21 per cent respondents said they ensure protection through review legislative compliance (Patents and Copyrights Act), 16 per cent said they used contract compliance reviews to protect IP. License compliance reviews were sought by 9 per cent of the respondents as means to ensure protection against IP infringement. A majority of the respondents at 54 per cent, however, said they used all the above measures to protect their intellectual property. The importance to enhance an organization s control over IP cannot be ignored. Securing IP would also translate into benefits such as better management of contracts and licences. This, in turn, leads to improved business relationships, cash realization and income generation, and finally a stronger competitive position, KPMG added. Govt to check foreign patents threat After losing nearly 18,000 patents of medicinal plants to the West because of government s reluctance to share traditional knowledge, India has decided to allow International Patent Offices (IPOs) to access its Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) for examining patent claims. The library, which would be ready by December 2007 at the cost of Rs 100 million (US$ 2.2 million), has codified information of 75,000 ayurvedic, 50,000 unani and 15,000 siddha formulations and 1,500 yoga postures in patent application formats in five international languages - English, German, French, Japanese and Spanish. The cabinet authorized TKDL s codeveloper, National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources, to sign a 6--TECH MONITOR Sep-Oct 2006

5 non-disclosure agreement with IPOs providing access to TKDL database 24x7 on a secured portal. The non-disclosure agreement with IPOs will be negotiated on the principle that the latter will not misuse TKDL for any other purpose except for examination of any patent application or to prevent misappropriation of traditional knowledge. The agreement will also disallow IPOs and their examiners to make any third party disclosure of TKDL other than what is necessary and essential for the purposes of patent search and examination. Health minister A Ramadoss said: We want to thwart anyone who tries to profit from our traditional knowledge, from yoga to 150,000 ancient medical remedies. The library will prevent those living abroad from claiming patent for existing formulations. IPOs from 11 countries, including the US and UK, which have signed an agreement with India, will have access to the database. Yoga too has become a $ 225 billion market in the West, leading to foreign quack yoga instructors claiming patents over asanas - even age-old traditional postures. Nearly 16.5 million Americans practice yoga and spend about $ 3 billion a year on yoga classes. Officials, however, said: If TKDL access issues were specified earlier, then international disputes regarding patenting of neem, turmeric and basmati would not have occurred. At present, TKDL contains 11 million pages of information. timesofindia.indiatimes.com KOREA Brisk IT exports in 2006 Korea s exports of information technology (IT) products will likely increase almost 10 per cent this year from a year earlier, the government said. The Ministry of Information and Communication said that the exports are forecast to increase 9.8 per cent to $ billion year-on-year in 2006, despite high oil prices and the local currency s strength against the U.S. dollar. Exports of semiconductors are expected to grow 12.3 per cent to $ 35.9 billion, driven by an increase in global demand for mobile phones and electronic goods, it said, with those of display panel products likely to gain 61.4 per cent to $ 16.4 billion. But Korean businesses are expected to face sluggish exports of mobile handset, according to the Ministry. The strong won, coupled with weak exports to low-tier, newly emerged markets, is likely to cause Korea s export of mobile handsets to gain a mere 2.7 per cent to $ 26 billion, it added. MALAYSIA IT spending to reach RM 22 bln in 2010 The International Data Corporation (IDC) has forecast that the information technology (IT) spending in Malaysia is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10 per cent from , and reach RM 22 billion. Managing director for Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, IDC Market Research (M) Sdn Bhd, Selinna Chin said that IDC also believed that software and services spending will grow by a CAGR of 13 per cent throughout , exceeding 43 per cent of total IT spending. She said that IT has made a significant contribution to Malaysia s economic growth. Between and period, the gross domestic product (GDP) growth in Malaysia attributable to IT increased three-fold from 3.3 per cent to 10.2 per cent. As Malaysia is moving towards the global average growth, the increase in IT spending will help the country to spur the shift from a trading-based economy to higher-value knowledge-based economy, she told reporters, after the official launch of PIKOM Software & Services Showcase 2006 (PS3), and white paper presentation by IDC on the Economic Impact of Software and IT Services on Malaysia, here. IDC also forecast that IT employment in the country would grow by 132,000 to 497,000 in 2010, of which over 50 per cent is expected to come from the software and IT services sectors. IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services and events for the IT, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. It has over 850 analysts in 50 countries which provide global, regional and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends. Science, Technology and Innovation Deputy Minister Datuk Kong Cho Ha, who officiated the event, said the government has allocated RM 12.9 billion for ICT in the Ninth Malaysia Plan. Investment in the electronic industry A total of 224 electronic projects with a total investment of RM 15.2 billion in the electronic industry were approved during the January 2005-May 2006 period, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said. Of the total investment, RM 12.7 billion comprised foreign investments while domestic investments accounted for RM 2.5 billion, she said in her speech at the Kuala Lumpur International AV Show 2006, which was delivered by her deputy, Datuk Ng Lip Yong. Rafidah said that investments in new projects amounted to RM 2.9 billion, while the balance of RM 12.3 billion was for expansion and diversification of existing projects. For the sub-sectors in the electronics industry, she said a total investment of RM million from 23 projects in the consumer electronics sector was TECH MONITOR Sep-Oct

6 approved for the 2005-May 2006 period. The consumer electronic products included televisions, radios, home theatre systems, digital cameras, compact discs (CDs), video compact disc players and video games. On the export of audio-visual products, Rafidah said the 2005 export figures saw an increase to RM billion from RM billion posted in The major export destinations were the United States which accounted for 32.9 per cent, followed by Japan with 20 per cent and Singapore with 14.5 per cent. The main export items were sound and video recording apparatus, comprising 3.6 per cent, colour television receivers, 31.2 per cent, and other radio receivers, 15.2 per cent. From January to May this year, the export of consumer electronic products amounted to RM 7.21 billion. On the import segment, Rafidah said the consumer electronics sub-sector last year recorded an increase in imports to RM 2.01 billion from RM 1.6 billion in 2004, of which Japan, China and Hong Kong were the main import sources. The main import items were sound and video recording apparatus comprising 67 per cent, colour television receivers, 16.6 per cent and motor vehicle radio receivers, 6.7 per cent. From January-May this year, the imports totalled RM 1.05 billion. Rafidah said the government will continue to offer a comprehensive incentives package to companies investing in high technology and undertaking research and development (R&D) to boost the new growth sub-sector in the electronics industry. The incentives, among others, include tax holiday, R&D grant and matching training grant. THE PHILIPPINES DOST to promote biotech The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is embarking on a fouryear programme to make the Philippines a leader in Southeast Asia in the field of biotechnology, as it steps up research and development of various agribiotech products with the Department of Agriculture (DA). DOST Secretary Estrella Alabastro said that the Philippines has the competitive edge in biotechnology, because biology training and research is developed in the country. Under the DOST s Biotechnology Research and Development Agenda for , biotechnology projects have been classified into food, industrial, environmental, medicine and health, agricultural and forest, marine and aquatic biotechnology. These areas are assigned each to the DOST s Research and Development Councils, which will conduct and pursue research and development. The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCCARD), will head research and development in the areas of agriculture, forestry and environment, which include the development of transgenics and conventional biotech products and bioremediation. PCCARD s researches will focus on trasngenics such as the development of the papaya ring spot virus (PRSV) resistant transgenic papaya and delayed ripening papaya, cloning of genes from coconut and on conventional biotechnology researches. The Philippine Council for Aquatic Marine Research and Development (PCAMRD) will handle marine and aquatic resources and environment in general, which involves bioactive compounds, diagnostics, genetic improvement and bioremediation. The area of health, along the development of vaccines and bioactive compounds will be under the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD). On the other hand, the Philippine Council for Industry and Energy Research and Development (PCIERD) will focus on two major areas, namely, functional food and biofuels, which include coco methyl ester, bioethanol and biodiesel from Jatropha curcas. Meanwhile, the Export Development Council recently added biotechnology as a new sector in its Cluster Strategy for export development, in view of the country s comparative strengths and adequate number of highly trained scientists and researchers. Group foresees higher IT spending Increased spending by small-tomedium scale businesses (SMBs) and the rapid expansion of business process outsourcing (BPO) industries this year are boosting sales of information technology (IT) products and services, according to the computer industry s group of makers and vendors. Computer Manufacturers, Distributors and Dealers Association of the Philippines (Comddap) president Juan Chua said members are optimistic they will perform better this year or at least sustain a 10 per cent yearon-year growth in sales by yearend. This is despite lower profit margins due to the effects of the expanded value-added tax, higher operating costs and intensified pricing pressure against stiff market competition, added Chua. Comddap is set to open the biggest information and communications technology (ICT) exhibit and selling show in the Visayas with the theme, I.T. s happening in Comdapp Cebu 2006! The event will be held at SM City Cebu Trade Hall. Cebu Government Gwendolyn Garcia will lead government officials and business leaders at the event s opening ceremonies as guest of honour. The influx of call centres and other BPO businesses boost the de- 8--TECH MONITOR Sep-Oct 2006

7 mand for IT products and services. They were the growth engines last year and will continue to be so in the near future, said Chua. Sales from computer hardware and software, data management products and mobile or wireless services are expected to rise, as BPO industry leaders project growth exceeding 100 per cent for such businesses and 70 per cent for call centres. The BPO sector is expected to earn $ 320 million this year, according to the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP). Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) chairman Ramon Sales reported that the whole BPO industry generated approximately $ 1.8 billion last year. The total BPO growth worldwide is estimated to reach $ billion in Research group International Data Corporation (IDC) Philippines, in its ICT market forecast released in January, placed the total IT spending of companies this year at $ 1.56 billion, the bulk of which or 66.5 per cent will go to hardware, while services and software will account for 23.2 per cent and 10.3 per cent, respectively. The improving economic outlook of the country is also a key factor. The inflow of remittances from overseas Filipino workers, which is expected to reach around $ 12 billion this year, will continue to drive consumer IT spending, particularly computers and digital gadgets, said Chua. The head of the 44- member Comddap also cited recent technological advances, such as thirdgeneration (3G) cellular phones, Microsoft s new operating system called Windows Vista, growing Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) zones, WiMAX (worldwide interoperability for microwave access) areas and increased Internet usage, especially VoIP (voice over the Internet protocol). All these will drive improvement in IT sales, said Chua. There were about one million dial-up Internet subscribers in the country last year, while the latest combined figures of DSL (digital subscriber line) users, both fixed line and wireless, of major telecommunications firms, has reached 240,000. With growing broadband penetration and Web-ready cellular phones or handheld computers, IDC predicts Filipino Internet users to number over 21 million by Last year, more than one billion people worldwide had access to the Internet, with the largest concentration in Asia Pacific at 315 million. Overall, Chua said IT is now an integral part of any business as it is no longer possible to transact, market and pay taxes, among other things, without using IT. The government is also helping drive IT growth not only by promoting the country as a BPO centre but also by starting to adopt IT in transactions like tax filing or licence applications and establishing information portals, he said. Chua said technology companies are also reviewing their business strategies to efficiently respond to market needs. THAILAND ICT market outlook The Thai ICT market for 2005 was 421 billion bath (Approximately 39 baht to a US dollar) composed of billion bath for communications, billion bath for hardware, 41.4 billion bath for software, and 6.7 billion bath for services. Categorized by industry sector, the largest ICT spending comes from business enterprise, with 48 per cent, followed by small office and home office (SOHO), with 34 per cent, and government, with 18 per cent. In 2004, the ratio of PCs to notebooks in terms of units sold was 83 to 17. The ratio has moved up to 80 to 20 in This shift will continue as the price of the notebooks continue to drop but it is unlikely to take over the PC, because of the stronger penetration of low cost PC initiated by the government. In terms of monitors, LCD displays have overtaken CRT screens. CRT monitors accounted for 84 per cent of units sold in This was overturned in 2005, when LCD reached 60 per cent of the sales. Of the 41.4 billion bath software market, 21.4 billion bath was packaged software and 20 billion bath was for outsourced software. The overall growth of software in 2005 was around 27 per cent, while ATCI projects the market to exceed 50 billion baht or over 21 per cent of This growth is below the country expectation because of the workforce constraint. Based on an ATCI survey of 1,200 active software companies, it is estimated that the total software workforce in 2005 was around 34,568, comprising 37 per cent programmers, 11 per cent systems analysts and systems designers, 8 per cent project managers, 5 per cent data base administration, 5 per cent consultants and 34 per cent others. The compound growth rate of Thai ICT market between is forecasted at 21 per cent, while the IT segment will grow around 20 per cent. The sectors driving market demand this year will be mainly government, education and business enterprises. Economic factors such as oil prices, inflation and regulatory reform continue to have an impact. Political unrests, if not resolved within the targeted election date in April 2006 will defer market potentials, because of the delay of the expected government megaprojects. VIET NAM A positive growth outlook for ICT The Vietnamese information and communication technology (ICT) sector gained strong revenue growth last year but it will need to work hard to improve its position on the global market, says a report from the HCMC Computer Association. The report on the outlook of TECH the Viet MONITOR Nam ICT market Sep-Oct in , presented to the press in July, says that Viet Nam Computer Electronics World Expo 2006 reported that the local ICT

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