MDeC's chief executive officer YBhg Datuk Badlisham Ghazali (pic) regarded the Budget proposals as progressive by addressing financial outlook concerns as well as encouraging further economic development.
"We believe that Budget 2014 is a holistic budget for all that will bridge the digital divide between rural and urban areas as well as between the low income and high income group, increase opportunities for entrepreneurs, start-ups and established local businesses alike and encourage and spur the culture of innovation across all levels of society," said Badlisham.
IDC Malaysia's ASEAN research manager, software & services, Roger Ling (pic), said that while Budget 2014 is " not a complete fulfillment of ICT industry needs, it does appear to provide good opportunities to spur the growth of ICT. The biggest question now is not if this is the best budget for the nation’s ICT future; the question is will Malaysia’s ICT ecosystem be able to leverage it for Malaysia’s growth in the 3rd platform of ICT and move more aggressively into areas such as Cloud, Mobility, Social and Analytics."
"At present, IDC anticipates Malaysia’s ICT spending to achieve US$22.2 billion by 2017, from a forecasted base of US$19.4 billion in 2014. In 2017, the nation’s ICT spending will make up 15.9 percent of the aggregated ICT spending of the 6 key ASEAN economies, down from 17.2 percent in 2013,” said Ling.
He said IDC believes that the two crucial initiatives within the budget proposals that will have an eventual direct or indirect impact to the Malaysian ICT sector are expanding Internet access and the goods and services tax. "The balanced approach to internet access in both urban and rural areas should improve broadband infrastructure. Broadband is expected to be more affordable if the savings are passed through to end-users. IDC sees this as a growth platform that presents the opportunity to drive mobile, broadband and IPTV penetration across Malaysia, as well as the e-Commerce industry and local content development. Improved infrastructure will also lay the foundation for M2M and cloud services adoption."
High speed broadband and connectivity
Hitachi Sunway Group chief executive officer, Cheah Kok Hoong [pic], said, "Budget 2014 is a well balanced strategy to focus on strengthening domestic growth and to restore fiscal health of the country. In the aspect of ICT, the rollout of the second phase of HSBB will definitely see deeper penetration of ecommerce activities in the country driven by the growing mobility trends. Malaysia is a country considered having “relatively high” internet penetration across all age groups. Based on a recent report by United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Malaysia stood out as having the fourth-highest proportion of 'digital natives' [youths aged 15 to 14 with at least five years of active internet use] in the world."
"The growing Internet activities will directly encourage the building of IT platforms and infrastructures in the country, thus drive up the level of activities in the ICT industry. We shall see more companies embracing technologies such as Cloud to upgrade their current IT capabilities, infrastructures and systems to support business demands," said Cheah.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.