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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 08:54, July 02, 2007
Myanmar Yadanabon cyber city project in progress
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A cyber city project called Yadanabon in northern part of Myanmar, one of the country's infrastructures for ambitious development of information and communications technology (ICT), is in progress with its early phase under rapid implementation, local reports reaching here said.

Jungle areas have been cleared and upgraded with communication- and transport-related infrastructures being corner-stoned.

Located in hilly Pyin Oo Lwin near a highway and is 67 kilometers east of Mandalay, the second largest city of Myanmar, the emerging Yadanabon cyber city covers an area of 7,000 acres (2, 835 hectares).

The cyber city project will include production of hardware used in mobile phones, planning of software and hardware programs, building of modern infrastructure such as teleport and incubation system which can receive international information network and reproduce it as well as some housing projects, according to the Ministry of Communications, Posts and Telegraphs.

Besides, the existing airport runway in Pyin Oo Lwin is being extended up to a length of 3,000 meters.

Pyin Oo Lwin stands a point through which a proposed natural gas pipeline, that will transmit Myanmar's gas from the Rakhine offshore area in the west to China's Yunnan province, passes in the future, local reports said.

To attract foreign investment in the aspects, Myanmar has offered to grant both foreign and local entrepreneurs to be engaged in ICT business in the cyber city project and separate plots will be allotted for foreign and local companies with equal rights to be offered to develop the silicon mountain town, according to the Computer Entrepreneurs' Association.

A latest move with regard to the ongoing cyber city project was that the ministry will purchase communication equipment from the Alcatel Shanghai Bell Co Ltd of China under a contract signed in Nay Pyi Taw on June 11, local media said.

An agreement between the Chinese company and Myanmar's private Htoo Company was also initiated on cooperation in the implementation of the cyber city project, according to local media reports which added that the teleport system of the project is expected to function by December. Moreover, Malaysia's IP Tel Sdn. Bhd. Company is also seeking investment in the Yadanabon cyber city project, official media said.

Myanmar has been launching an ICT development master plan under the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) and detailed programs to link international networks are also being carried out in accordance with the master plan drafted by the Myanmar Computer Federation.

Being a signatory to the e-ASEAN Framework Agreement initiated at 2000 Singapore summit, Myanmar has formed the e-National Task Force to support the IT development.

Besides, the country has also signed a series of memorandums of understanding since 2003 with companies from Malaysia, Thailand and South Korea on ICT development.

Myanmar introduced e-education system in early 2001, establishing one ICT park (now known as Myanmar Info-Tech) in Yangon and another ICT park in Mandalay in two following years to provide ICT services in the country.

Meanwhile, some local private companies in Myanmar have been set to provide new high-speed communication lines to internet users under a cooperation program extended to the private sector by the state-run Myanmar Posts and Telecommunication under the ministry which is currently the only source of new internet services in the country.

According to the telecommunications authorities, the number of internet users in Myanmar has reached nearly 300,000, up from merely 12 four years ago.

So far, Myanmar has launched some e-government systems including e-visa, e-passport, e-procurement and e-D (departure) form to effect management of government bodies.

Myanmar's e-government project is implemented under the e-ASEAN Framework Agreement signed at a regional summit in Singapore in 2000 with the aim of narrowing the IT gap among the ten ASEAN members.

Meanwhile, the authorities have projected to introduce 400 public internet service centers in 324 townships in the country within three years to facilitate communication links.

Observers here said that despite apparent achievements made in the aspect of ICT, Myanmar still has a long way to go comparing with other countries as there exists difficulties in opening internet and experiences frequent breakdown of telephone lines.

They said that the future emergence of the Yandanabon cyber city would not only narrow the development gap among the regional members but also boost Myanmar's ICT development and provide much job opportunities for the country.

Source: Xinhua


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