Call for Malaysia-Aussie tech tie-ups

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia and Australia are thousands of miles apart but they have similar goals for their ICT (information and communications technology) industries.

So the two nations should work together by collaborating on their various initiatives, said Tim Dillon, Victorian commissioner for South-East Asia.

“Innovation comes out of collaboration and there are many areas where Australian and Malaysian companies can work together, especially in animation and videogames,” he said.

Such collaborations can also have a spillover effect on other sectors, such as health and education, according to Dillon.

He suggested the possibility of developing a minor-surgery guide for doctors posted in rural areas that would be accesible via a broadband connection.

“With this, the doctors could learn improvements in such surgical procedures from a web video and this may even help reduce the need for patients to be referred to urban hospitals for treatment,” he said. “Wouldn’t that be helpful?”

Dillon would also like to see more collaborations between Malaysian and Australian businesses.

One example, he said, is Cintric128, an Australia software solutions company based in Kuala Lumpur with interests in South-East Asia. The Australia-registered company is headed by a Malaysian.

Dillon said other companies can follow Cintric128’s example, especially those in Australia that want to enter new markets in the region.

“It’s difficult to push products in 10 Asean markets because the populations are all so diverse. It would make more sense for Australian businesses to partner with Malaysian companies that are better at such dealings and learn from them,” he said.

Also, if an Australian or Malaysian company does well elsewhere, they serve as good ambassadors for their countries’ capabilities, he added.

Malaysia has its MSC Malaysia initiative to help the country leapfrog in information technology sector while Australia is grooming its state of Victoria as an ICT hub.

According to Dillon, Victoria accounts for about 25% of the Australian ICT industry revenue, which is worth about A$28bil (RM78bil) and its capital, Melbourne, is an attractive high-tech city.

“Melbourne views ICT not only as a key industry but a major technology-platform as well, that dovetails with other industries.

“How can anyone have an efficient manufacturing or automotive industry without employing ICT,” he said.

While it prides itself on having a thriving ICT industry, Victoria is not about to rest on its laurels and is open to sharing tips, as well as collaborating with other countries, to further develop that industry.

Other similarities include Malaysia’s National Broadband Plan and Australia’s National Broadband Network that aims to provide this fifth utility to at least 93% of Australians by 2015.

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