Lower spending growth for ICT sector this year

  • Business
  • Friday, 13 Mar 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: The local information and communications technology (ICT) industry is expected to chart a lower spending growth of 5% this year compared with 8% last year.

Multimedia Development Corp (MDeC) chief executive officer Datuk Badlisham Ghazali said foreign direct investments were still flowing in, a sign of resilience among ICT players and consumers.

“Some of the firms under the supervision of MDeC have seen a 100% increase in the number of workers,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the forum on “Managing the impact of the economic crisis on the ICT industry” yesterday.

This year, jobs creation was projected to register 7.41% growth for Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC)-status companies against last year.

Meanwhile, revenue growth for the industry was expected at 3.8% to RM19.09bil from RM18bil in last year.

However, Badlisham said: “We can only see a clearer picture in the next six months.”

Among the initiatives taken by MDeC to boost consumption were outsourcing local ICT services, engaging selected export markets and establishing an e-commerce service platform for small and medium enterprises.

Currently, MSC-status companies have branches in China and Saudi Arabia. “These countries are key markets for the Malaysian ICT market,” Badlisham said, adding that the company also facilitated contact and deals with targeted markets.

In the new mini budget announced on Tuesday, MDeC was allocated about RM33.9mil for industrial content development initiative and related software development, while Mimos received RM17mil for supply chain management solutions.

Meanwhile, Biotech Corp has also received RM25mil in the mini budget.

Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Fadilah Yusof said the ministry had in total received allocation of RM192mil from the mini budget.

About RM40mil grant has been allocated for research and development under the TechnoFund and InnoFund.

Fadilah said among the key areas of growth this year were managed services and virtualisation and cloud computing.

Association of the Computer and Multimedia Industry of Malaysia president C.J. Ang said it had urged the Government to reinstate the Employees Provident Fund withdrawal scheme to stimulate industry sales in ICT.

“We are targeting sales of 600,000 ICT products valued at RM1.4bil within two years,” he said.

Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Nazrin Hassan, who was one of the panelists and commentators of the forum, said companies should seek opportunities to outsource services overseas due to weaken demand in Malaysia.

“Networking must be done in the international level if companies want to broaden their market,” he said.

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