Leading information technology (IT) companies are expanding into Myanmar to prepare for Asean's free trade area, with Thailand envisaged as a springboard for expansion and technical support.
"The Thai operation is set to play a significant role for sales and joint marketing with international computer makers expanding to Myanmar next year," said Accharas Ouysinprasert, managing director of Intel Microelectronics (Thailand), the world's largest processor maker.
Intel has appointed KMD Co in Myanmar as its authorised distributor for microchips, motherboards and solid-state drives.
"Myanmar is the fastest-growing country in the region for IT spending as it is opening its economy to the outside world for the first time in decades," said Mr Accharas.
Myanmar is also deregulating its telecom sector, he added.
Mr Accharas said the increase of foreign direct investment in the region is likely to drive IT spending.
Boonyaphat Choobunjerd, head for Indochina operations at Acer Computer (Thailand), said the company plans to spend US$10 million to open offices in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar to capitalise on increased spending on computers when the Asean Economic Community is launched in 2016.
Myanmar is the first focus due to its attractive foreign investment incentives and large population of 48 million.
Anothai Wettayakorn, managing director of Dell Corporation (Thailand) and general manager for Indochina, said Dell last month opened an office in Myanmar after expanding into Cambodia and Laos.
Supan Mongkolsuthee, chairman of Synnex (Thailand), the SET-listed IT product distributor, said the company will set up a joint venture with a Myanmar firm in the first quarter of 2013.
Narong Intanate, group chief executive of ECS Holdings, a leading IT distributor in Asia, said the company is exploring opportunities in Myanmar. Its subsidiary, The Value Systems, last year also set up its first office in Nong Khai province to support its business in Laos.
About the author
- Writer: Suchit Leesa-nguansuk
Position: Senior Reporter