MALAYSIA, with a 32.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for smart cards from 2001 to 2005 is expected to have about 13 million smart cards out by 2005, according to Jafizwaty Ishahak, a Smart Card and Auto ID regional research analyst with Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific.
Malaysia already had about 7 million smart cards for various applications out by end-2002, she said during a recent interview with StarBiz on the sidelines at a seminar on Technology, Trends and Financing: The Way Forward, organised by the Malaysian Venture Capital A-sociation in Kuala Lumpur.
According to Jafizwaty, the Asia-Pacific re-ion is a conducive environment for smart cards as its large population has immense market potential. The regions low-labour cost also provides a pool of cheap, skilled and semi-skilled labour.
For 2002, the total smart card market in the Asia Pacific is around 562 million with a CAGR of 30%, she said, adding that the unit shipment was expected to total 1.2 billion by 2005.
Some of the key countries in the region having active, planned or pilot projects underway are Ma- laysia, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, China, Thailand and India.
According to Jafizwaty, one key market driver for smart cards is the fear of fraud. Another factor is government impetus in supporting smart cards in each country, like the MyKad for Malaysia.
In her paper on Catching the Next Wave: Emerging Opportunities in Smart Cards Industry, Jafizwaty said that the total world smart card unit shipment in 2002 was 1.9 billion cards at 20% CAGR from 2001 to 2005.
By geographic region, Europe is the highest producer of smart cards with 47% of the cards shipped, followed by the Asia Pacific with 28%, the US with 23% and the rest of the world 2%.
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