While everyone I spoke to welcomes the Malaysian governments mini-budget stimulus package worth RM60 (US$16.2) billion announced recently, some of the industry leaders have definite ideas on where that money should go.
Cisco Malaysia managing director Anne Abraham says: The RM60 (US$16.2) billion stimulus package announced has exceeded expectations on many fronts and it is inspiring to see that while the mini-budget addresses the immediate needs of the people, the government will also be investing in growing future opportunities and building the foundation for accelerated growth once the global economic outlook improves.
Reach and speed
Abraham says: The drive to improve broadband infrastructure in the country is decisive as broadband connectivity is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for government, businesses and citizens. Broadband has the potential to transform our country. It will create jobs in the growth sectors of our economyjobs that are driving the collaboration and interaction economy. Broadbands economic power is derived from two sources.
The first is reachhow many people are using broadband at work, at home and in the community. The second is speedthe speeds of the connection determine the impact it has on user behaviour. If we get this right, then Malaysias broadband infrastructure can indeed be the highway to our nations future.
Abraham also says Cisco is keen to support the re-skilling of the workforce to prepare them for new opportunities that emerge in this economic transition.
The focus on small and medium enterprises is also welcomed by all the people I spoke to over the past couple of days. Abraham adds: SMEs [small and medium enterprises] are an important engine of growth and innovation today and a springboard to a stronger economy in the future. The focus on key projects will also be a catalyst to stimulate many other businesses and in turn the economy as a whole.
National Broadband Plan
Nokia Siemens Networks Malaysia country director, Bill Chang, welcomes the focus on telecommunications and technology, among other sectors. The additional off-budget projects, which will enhance our telecommunication infrastructure, are a welcome boost to the countrys journey to connectivity and clearly demonstrate the governments commitment to the National Broadband Plan. It can be shown that the increased broadband penetration has some definitely multiplying effects in the GDP growth in most economies.
Having surpassed the target of 20 per cent penetration in household broadband last year as reported by government regulator MCMC [Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission], Malaysia has established good footing to move to the next level of connectivity and economic development, says Chang. The availability of multiple modes of broadband access and services today, i.e. 3G, WiMAX and HSDPA [high speed downlink packet access] will continue to grow, and new business opportunities such as Mobile TV, IPTV and VoIP will offer next-generation growth potential to operators.
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