ICT Sector Summary

Sector Summary: Information & Communication Technologies in South Asia

Many factors contribute towards South Asia's international reputation as both a leading manufacturing complex and a major commercial centre within the world. While many factors such as the economic policy of free enterprise and free trade, the rule of law, a well educated and industrious workforce, a sophisticated commercial infrastructure, as well as development of ports and airport which are among the world’s finest are important, an emerging factor that attracts the attention of the world to this specific region is the fast-paced growth of their I.C.T Sector.

As a student interested in learning more about investments geared towards the Technology, Media, and Telecommunication industries, I have been a keen observer of the way the improvements in technology and infrastructure have affected the regions' society and culture. As a race that heavily values the concept of efficiency and effectiveness, it is only inevitable that the way people communicate has shifted tremendously in the last decade. Unlike in the North American society, the Asian world is heavily reliant on smartphone as well as portable technologies, up to a point that this technology is subtly being integrated to everyday tasks such as ordering a cup of coffee through the use of E-Wallets and booking a taxi through SMS messages.

While there is large variance across Asia's ICT infrastructure landscape, there are centralized themes and factors driving innovation and development, largely deriving from the region's increasing economic integration, which in turn has several important effect for ICT technology purchase. Intra-regional trade and investments as well as increasing foreign demand has made South Asia one of the world's fastest-growing economic regions. The fact that carriers and enterprises largely avoided the global Financial Crisis has proved that it is more convenient for them to make decisions on next-generation technology, such as the introduction of Long-Term Evolution technology and other 4G mobile upgrades.

This economic robustness, and the continuous cycle of regional integration that has supported it, has also facilitated cross-ownership in telecommunication and particularly mobile network operations. An example of this would be Singapore's SingTel as well as Malaysia's Axiata who hold stakes in operators in Thailand, Indonesia, and other ASEAN nations.

As well, the Asian nations are currently experiencing difficulties while dealing with the flow of information. The growing concern has led the Asian market to become early adopters of technology that has just been introduced to the North American and European markets. By transferring most of their collection to the Cloud servers and technology, government organizations and multinational corporations that are headquartered in South Asia has been able to centralize their database and reduce the need for manual I.T tasks, allowing their human capital to automate their systems and allocate more of their efforts in developing strategies.

In conclusion, I can say that I was tremendously enlightened by the rapid growth of the ICT industry of South Asia. Through such growth, I was able to determine three key opportunities that could potentially rise from this on-going trend: Wireless Build, Next Generation Networking, and Mobile Media. These three sector are not as well promoted to the Western world, however, shows promising future for investors as they are all experiencing fast-paced growth. By providing services dealing with Wireless Broadband technologies, I.T Solutions (Hardware and Software), and mobile content services, there is no doubt that Canadian investors and entrepreneurs could see success in the years to come.

by Andrew Shon, Junior Team Canada Ambassador

Green Buildings and Clean Tech

Hong Kong is a vibrant city that is growing very fast. With a population of 7 million and hot weather, there is a great demand for air conditioning, which is very energy consuming. With the desire to go green, Hong Kong will soon need new technologies in its buildings to help cool the air and clean it, while reducing the energy consumption. Another reason for this is the fact that the real estate in Hong Kong is very expensive. It clearly appears that they try to render the costs by maximising the space use everywhere, but they do not cut on in the air conditioning. This is why, by implementing new ways to get the building more energy efficient, by getting it to keep cool with less electricity, the cost of commercial and residential spaces would be lower. This would be a long term investment that the Hong Kong industry would be interested in. This is an exciting opportunity for Canadian green building and green tech businesses to bring their advancement and innovation in this sector to this fast growing city.

The rest of China, who will do this transition quickly afterwards, is a massive market that will need these services and expertise. For this, Hong Kong is a great gateway to this huge market.

Green Wall in ITC
Green Wall in ITC
Solar panels
Solar panels
Solar panels
Solar panels

A City of Energy and Passion

Junior Team Canada challenges young Canadians to take the road less travelled and be leaders of tomorrow. Members of our team have decided to push themselves to the limit and perform on the world stage. We are all passionate about the work that we are doing and eagerly seeking new challenges. From the slice of Hong Kong that I experienced this is also true for people in this city.

The energy that I experienced in Hong Kong is second to none. This is a city that is constantly on the move and pushing itself to be better than it was yesterday. The passion that businesses and individuals bring to their work is inspiring. The people care about what they do, each other and their city. The emphasis placed on relationships and interconnectivity truly makes this a world class environment.

With such strong parallels between Hong Kong and Canada’s leaders it is no surprise that so many Canadians have chosen to work and live here. I am very confidant that the relationships between us will only continue to grow and become stronger as we both seek challenges and progress together.

Richard Sookraj, Junior Team Canada Ambasssador

Hong Kong's Pride

Hong Kong has been an inspiring experience to say the least.

As I stepped off the plane, the first thing I realized was the heat, humidity, and dense population. But as I learned more about the city through our briefings with leaders from organizations such as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Hong Kong Trade and Development Council, I began to notice something else about this place.

While the speakers were all very eager to teach us about the economic policies and structure of Hong Kong, it was clear that they were all very proud of their city. Whether or not they were born in Hong Kong, each person was proud to represent the city and excited to do their part to promote it. It wasn’t for personal gain that they taught us, but rather for the future of Hong Kong, and the strong connection between Hong Kong and Canada.

It was evident that they truly loved their city, and were passionate about further empowering it through trade as it adapted to the changing economic and political landscape. If all of Hong Kong's leaders are anything like the ones that we have met in the past few days, Hong Kong will undoubtedly continue to be a global leader for generations to come. It’s sad to think that we must leave this place in only a few days, but I’m sure that many of us will return.

by Jacob Read, Junior Team Canada Ambassador // Melville, Saskatchewan

Consulate Briefing - Hong Kong

Sector Briefing - Canadian Consulate of Hong Kong

Hong Kong SAR — (August 2nd, 2013), Global Vision

Junior Team Canada attended a sector briefing at the Canadian Consulate in Hong Kong on Friday, hosted by Mr. Ian Burchett, Consul General of Canada to Hong Kong; Ms. Kendal Hembroff, Senior Trade Commissioner; Mr. Jean-Christian Brillant, Consul for Foreign Policy and Diplomacy; and several Trade Commissioners from the Clean-tech, Life-sciences, Agriculture, and financial sectors.

Mr. Burchett stressed the importance of building meaningful relationships when doing business in Hong Kong, where a personal relationship through several points of interaction should precede a commercial relationship. He emphasized the need for Junior Team Canada to ensure follow up and further development of the local relationships we initiate for our mission partners in Hong Kong.

Following a trade and policy briefing by Ms. Hembroff and Mr. Brillant, the Ambassadors split up into groups for individual sector briefings with Trade Commissioners on the topics of Clean-tech, Life-sciences, Agriculture, and investment attraction. Through their discussions the Ambassadors initiated key connections related to their sector responsibilities, and began the process of booking meetings with local companies and organizations with the assistance of the Canadian Trade Commission.

"I learned that you need to take a very different approach when doing business here", says Rafael Pozuelo-Perron, one of Quebec City's four Junior Team Canada Ambassadors on this mission. "It's not just a two step process of 'come-and-go' like in Canada, you really need to put in a lot of effort in developing a sincere relationship." Working with his partners Canmec Group, a Saguenay engineering firm; and Bilodeau, a Canadian fur trade and taxidermy company, Rafael plans help them develop a better understanding of how business works in Hong Kong and assist them in realize their long-term business objectives in Asia.

Trade Briefing: HKTDC

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Trade Briefing: Hong Kong Trade and Development Council (HKTDC)

Hong Kong SAR — (August 2nd, 2013), Global Vision

Junior Team Canada attended a trade briefing with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) on Friday, hosted by Iris Wong, Head of International Relations, at their head office located in the Wan Chai district of Hong Kong. Ms. Wong briefed JTC on HKTDC's core services, Hong Kong's economic composition, and it's competitive advantages for conducting business both locally and around the world.

Among the topics discussed were Hong Kong’s vibrant economy as a trade and finance hub in Asia, it's competitive advantages in geography, and it's political and economic standing with Mainland China. For example, the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement with Mainland China enables businesses based in Hong Kong to export into mainland China without being subject to tariffs and duties. This includes products that have been partially processed in Hong Kong, where businesses may locate value-added services to qualify for the duty-free status.

Hong Kong can also act a risk manager for entering other Asian regions, as the legal system of Hong Kong is based on Common Law and can offer a measure of protection for businesses entering contracts in Hong Kong to do business in Mainland China.

"The idea of basing the business agreement in Hong Kong to access other Asian markets was definitely new to me." says Laura Weinbender, Junior Team Canada Ambassador for Saskatchewan. "Although my partners are mostly in the Agricultural sector and Hong Kong may not be a direct market for them, it would be important to consider drafting their contracts in Hong Kong because of the legal system here. The system offers better protection and more power for Canadian companies in negotiations."

About Hong Kong Trade and Development Council (HKTDC)

HKTDC was established in 1966 as an international marketing arm for Hong Kong–based traders, manufactures and service providers. The council offers a variety of platforms and business-matching services, connecting small and medium-sized enterprises in Hong Kong with business partners from all over the world through a global network of over 40 offices worldwide. Visit http://www.hktdc.com/ for more information.

JTC Mission Launch!

31 Youth Selected to Represent Canada on International Trade Mission to Hong Kong, China, Singapore, and Malaysia

Ottawa, Ontario — (July 10th, 2013), Global Vision

31 young Canadians will be traveling to Asia on an international trade mission this summer from July 31st to August 19th, visiting Hong Kong, China, Singapore, and Malaysia, as part of Global Vision’s Junior Team Canada program.

Junior Team Canada is a delegation of youth ambassadors that represent Canada both at home and abroad, through national conferences, international trade missions, and special assignments like the G8, G20, and APEC summits. 20-30 youth are selected through a nationwide selection process each year, giving these young leaders the opportunity to experience international trade and diplomacy first hand.

As Junior Team Canada Ambassadors they will meet with leaders from business, government, and the community to promote Canada’s economic interests, learn about business and culture in Asia, and further develop trade relationships in the region. The 2013 mission will be focused on the clean-tech & renewable energy, information technology, agriculture food & beverages, mining & resource extraction, education, real estate, and finance sectors.

“The mission is going to open up a world of new and exciting opportunities for them,” says Amy Giroux, Director of Global Vision and Junior Team Canada. “These dynamic young leaders are getting the experience and skills they need to help strengthen Canada’s presence in the global marketplace.”

About Global Vision

Global Vision - Junior Team Canada (JTC) is a Canadian non-for-profit organization founded in 1991 by Terrance Clifford, MP London-Middlesex (1984-1993) and Member of the Order of Canada. Global Vision’s objective is to give youth hands-on experiences in international trade and community leadership to produce top global leaders that build the future of Canada.

Global Vision’s flagship program, Junior Team Canada, has led missions to over 30 countries on 6 continents, the most recent being to Colombia and Panama in July 2012. Since its founding in 1990, it has equipped hundreds of Canadian youth leaders with the skills, experience and knowledge they need to become extraordinary leaders. The organization has been responsible for delegations on Team Canada Trade Missions, the APEC Summit, Inter American Development Bank, G8 and G20 Summits, as well as a variety of other top level international events.

For more information on Global Vision and its programs, visit www.globalvision.ca
Information Media Only: Amy Giroux: 1-888-829-2838 | amy@globalvision.ca