Continuing investment in ICT sector R&D


  • Business
  • Wednesday, 10 Sep 2003

MARK STEVENS 

Nortel Networks                             Vice-president, Asean/Pakistan  

 

Mark Stevens

NORTEL Networks has had a business presence in Malaysia since 1978. For over 25 years, we have witnessed and participated in the growth of this country and are proud to be part of it.  

The Malaysian government has been fully committed to its vision of a knowledge-based economy and its recognition of the importance of maintaining the drive for information and communications technology (ICT) development.  

Nortel Networks will continue to be part of this vibrant economy for a long time to come. 

In the Budget 2003 , generous tax incentives were introduced for strategic K-based status companies. In May this year, the government allocated additional RM600mil to the small- and medium-sized industry (SMI) fund, which affects the ICT industry. As a result of these efforts, ICT has seen more rapid development. 

Top priorities for Budget 2004 on fiscal policy should include continuous development, upgrading and investment in infrastructure, continued investment in research and development (R&D) for the ICT industry, and encouragement of foreign direct investment. 

State governments must focus on infrastructure development to meet the increasing demand for fully equipped facilities, including telecommunications.  

The manufacturing and financial services sectors and the SMIs must move towards sophisticated communications infrastructure to be able to compete in the intensive global market.  

This would include investment in efficient communications and advanced multimedia support, converged voice and data solutions, and networks that will support high-speed, high-quality voice, video and data.  

Investment in a fully integrated high-performance information infrastructure and provision of high-quality telecommunications services using the latest and the best technology must be made a necessity rather than a need. 

It is now a necessity to invest in ICT for enhanced business productivity, improved customer service and enhanced workflow automation. 

Hence, further tax incentives and investment funds should be extended to these sectors, and utilisation of these funds should be encouraged. 

I believe that with good infrastructure and commitment from the government, the prospects for Malaysia look tremendous. Good foundation in terms of infrastructure and knowledge base could help build the telecommunications industry further in Malaysia.  

R&D for ICT advancement will further improve through tax incentives for projects with a clear technology research element, as well as the already available funding in the form of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) R&D Grant Scheme under the R&D Cluster Flagship. 

Malaysia can serve as a cost-effective base for companies that want to develop their businesses region-wide. 

It is our firm belief that the MSC is the crucial catalyst for driving Malaysia’s transition into the information age and a service-oriented economy.  

Companies such as Nortel Networks work with local companies to customise communications solutions for enterprises. We combine our broad and deep knowledge and expertise in communications with these companies’ extensive knowledge of local enterprise needs. 

Nortel Networks will continue to implement R&D to provide the best products and solutions to enterprises and training for the local companies with which we work to meet the level of global excellence. 

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