Myanmar drafts digital economy master plan

The Digital Economy Development Committee (DEDC) is drafting the Myanmar Digital Economy Development Master Plan to develop and regulate the country’s booming digital economy, committee member U Mya Moe Aung said.

In addition, the DEDC will prepare a short-term (2-3 years) and a medium-term (3-5 years) working programme. It will start implementation when the master plan and these accompanying working programmes are completed.

Myanmar’s digital economy is booming and on the ascendant. The country has an estimated 46.39 million internet users and internet penetration reaches 89pc of the population. Over 80pc mobile users have adopted smart phone, according to data from the Ministry of Transportation and Communication and the DEDC. It is also anticipated that the relatively young population is very adaptive when it comes to technological innovation.

Sectors including agriculture, livestock and tourism as well as the country’s burgeoning small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) need to adopt digital technology in order to compete with competitors from neighbouring countries as well as the international community, U Mya Moe Aung added.

ASEAN digital hub

The DEDC held their inaugural meeting last July and vowed to lead Myanmar into the digital hub of ASEAN.

Technology businesses and professionals commented that government support for the sector is weak. Clear policies, manpower and digital infrastructure are imperative for the sector to take off. Education is needed for the necessary human resources and for entrepreneurship to flourish.

Hardware is also crucial, including fibre cable and high-speed internet covering the country. Likewise, the service economy will require the development of mobile payment and mobile services.

Naturally, the investment climate needs to be improve for foreign tech companies to invest in Myanmar. Hence, the support from the government is vital for the emergence of a digital economy.

The digital economy can only succeed when the government join forces with the private sector to move the industry forward, U Nay Min Thu from Phandeeyar noted.

Source: Myanmar Times

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