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Predictions

Dan Swinhoe (Asia) - 2013 Predictions: Asia-Pacific

In a new series of articles on 2013 IT Predictions, IDG Connect offers expert insight into upcoming trends around the world.

We here at IDG Connect have been busy bees in 2012. After months of polling, blogs, and spotlights, culminating in two recent reports, we can conclusively announce that APAC is where it's at.

BRICS vs. APAC
Last week saw the release of our report into emerging markets. And after polling over 600 business & IT professionals the results were clear; the BRICS aren't what they used to be. Just 5% felt that the BRICS were still up and coming, while countries in the APAC region (minus China & India obviously) accounted for over 60% of the votes.

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The outright winner, by a large margin, was Indonesia. The country gained 36% of the vote (over double the country in second place), and the voters had a myriad of reasons for choosing it as the market to watch. Large population, improving economy and IT literacy combined with proximity to larger markets such as China, Australia, Singapore and South Korea all formed part of a solid base for Indonesia to build on, and IDC predicts Eastern Indonesia will become the next major destination for IT.

Not Just a One Horse Race
It's not just Indonesia though. Vietnam came a healthy second in our report, with 17% feeling Vietnam would be a booming market in the future. IDC called 2012 a turning point for the country, and said by the end of the year the market will have reached $3.25 billion, growing 19%. Though predictions for 2013 aren't as stellar as 2012 was,experts still say spending could rise another 15%, with mobile phone sales growing by a half.

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The opening up of Myanmar [Burma] to the world was a big event, and one that had many a businessman's hands rubbing in glee. IDC (again) called the country an ‘Unpolished Gem' and ‘virtually one of the last untapped ICT markets in the Asia/Pacific region with fast rising potential.' The IT market was predicted to rise 15% by the end of the year and by 2016 would be worth $268.45 million. Our own spotlight into the matter found 67% thought the country had great potential for the future, the clean slate the market offered meant there would be huge IT requirements in the coming years.

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No BRIC Walls
However, all this talk of potential doesn't mean the BRICS have failed. Our report into India found that a slim majority of professionals within the country feel the country is still on the right track, and will continue to be a major economy in the future. While India's reign as an outsourcing haven may not last forever, a massively tech-savvy generation hold a lot of promise if the country can properly embrace innovation and solve its legislative problems.

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China too is still going strong. An aging population may be a timebomb waiting to go off if not addressed but a growing middle class are snapping up tech at an astonishing rate.
Though Asia's two biggest players are slowing down, the future' still bright, and the future's still Asian.

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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