Singapore and Hong Kong continue to distance themselves from other IT markets in the Asia-Pacific, including New Zealand, with their strong government support for IT, robust telecommunications infrastructures and high PC penetration rates, says market analyst IDC.
Notably, the two Asian markets were among the first in the region to completely liberalise their telecommunication markets, IDC said in a report released last week.
Over the next four years, Singapore's IT market will grow by 13.2% per year to be worth $US6.1 billion in 2005. Hong Kong's IT market will grow at 9.8% per year and be worth $US4.9 billion, IDC says. New Zealand's IT market, by comparison, is expected to grow by about 4% each year from $NZ4.6 billion in 2000 to $NZ5.6 billion in 2005.
Both Asian countries are strongly hardware-oriented, as is typical of Asian markets. Almost 70% of IT spending in Hong Kong currently goes toward hardware products. Singapore is slightly more oriented toward software and services, which make up nearly 50% of IT spending there. New Zealand is a well-developed market, says IDC NZ, in which IT spending on software and services was 51% last year and is expected to reach 56% by 2005.
Hong Kong is still adjusting to being a special administrative region of China, but the size and rapid growth of the mainland China IT market could prove a boost for Hong Kong, according to IDC. Singapore's economy is more tied to the ups and downs of the US market and to investor confidence in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) grouping, of which Singapore is a member, IDC says.