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|Wednesday, October 31, 2001, updated at 09:20(GMT+8)|
IT Can be Growth Engine for Asia: ExpertsIT industry leaders attending the East Asia Economic Summit agreed Tuesday that IT may serve as a growth engine for East Asian region, but noted that an innovative and cooperative approach should be taken to achieve this goal.
Tadashi Okamura, president and chief executive officer of Toshiba Corporation, Japan, said at a panel session during the summit that IT development could be a growth engine and there is room for future development of IT in the region.
However, he warned that Asian nations should turn IT from a passive engine to an active one, and try to fend their IT sector off the adverse affects of the external environment.
To this end, Asian countries should increase the size of their IT industry, and region-wide, these countries need to create a new supply-and-demand relations and foster a IT market among themselves, he said.
On the development of Internet, Okamura said that Asia has potential for future development since Internet development in the region is comparatively lagged behind compared with other parts of the world.
More investment should be made to develop IT industry and governments in the region can play an active role in this regard, he said. He noted that e-government is a direction pursued by some governments, which is conducive to IT development in the region.
Gordon Astles, president of Cisco Systems in Asia Pacific, stressed the need of reducing government intervention in the development of IT. Industry leaders in the region should be
allowed to play an active role in the world, he said.
Chen Wen-chi, president and chief executive officer of Via Technology from Chinese Taiwan, said that the sale of PC is slowing down currently, which is the consequence of a global economic downturn.
However, Internet, after the bubble burst of .coms, still has reasons to develop further, he said. He called on Asian nations to enhance cooperation in the field and "make the cake bigger" and share the market.
Hee Joon Park, senior adviser of Samsung Electronics, expressed optimism about the "bright future" of IT development in the region. The market potential is huge, especially, that of the Chinese market, he said.
"IT will play an important role in the economic recovery of the region," he said, adding that China, the most populous country in the world, will play a major role in the process.
Yu Youjun, major of the Chinese city of Shenzhen, emphasized the function of the government in promoting IT development. "The government should create a sound investment environment and minimize intervention in the development of the industry," he said.
Yu said his city is on the way to build itself into a IT manufacturing center. In the first nine months this year, high-tech industry in Shenzhen realized a 23 percent growth rate, and export of high-tech products grew by 30 percent compared with the same period last year, he said.
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