SEARCC to drive international co-operation in ICT and create a platform for closer regional ties.
12 October 2012 - The South East Asia Computer Confederation (SEARCC) today announced a new 2012-2013 SEARCC leadership committee, following the 2012 SEARCC conference held in Sydney 8-10 October. ACS President Dr Nick Tate was elected President of SEARCC, and ACS National Treasurer Yohan Ramasundara was appointed Acting Secretary General.
Dr Nick Tate, ACS President and SEARCC President-Elect said: “Under outgoing President Satish Babu, and Secretary General Yasa Karunaratne, SEARCC has enhanced co-operation between the member bodies across the region. We are privileged to be taking up the reins at a time when countries across the region are increasingly focused on the digital economy and the ICT sector as vital pillars of growth as European, US and Chinese markets soften. There has never been a time of greater need for a qualified workforce with certifiable ICT skills, and the aim of my presidency will be to advance professionalism across the region.”
Last week the 2012 Annual SEARCC Conference, held in conjunction with YITCon, the ACS's Young IT Professionals Conference, brought together over 500 delegates including senior leaders from Fiji, India, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Australia, including many CIOs and participation from Federal Minister The Hon Stephen Conroy, NSW Minister, The Hon Greg Pearce, and Federal Member of Parliament Ed Husic. During a closed government and industry workshop hosted by Dr John Hewson, SEARCC delegates discussed the key regional issues affecting ICT in the region focusing on how the power of technology is underpinned by the power of people.
South East Asia will see 194 million new internet users between 2010 and 2020, and over the same period, the ASEAN region is projected to grow to become the world’s ninth-largest economy, worth US$1.9 trillion. Recognising the role of ICT in regional development, the ASEAN 2015 ICT Masterplan sets out ambitious growth targets for connectivity, noting the importance of providing infrastructure to underpin an industry employing over 11.7 million people in member nations and a digital economy contributing more than US$32 billion, or 3 per cent of the economy. ACS research indicates that the Australian digital economy currently accounts for AU$100 billion, or 7.7 per cent of Australian GDP.
SEARCC Acting Secretary General Yohan Ramasundara said: “SEARCC has a vital role to play both in helping nations capitalise on the opportunities of the digital age and in ensuring that the voices of professionals are heard in setting the agenda for ICT development. Our goal is simple: to encourage the development of the region’s digital economies by focusing on its most important resource, people. Together, SEARCC’s member bodies will work to build frameworks for mutual recognition and international standards, which will in turn create the environment bridging skill-gaps, encouraging innovation and enhancing cross-border trade.”
It is expected that notable existing highlights such as the Annual SEARCC Conference, and the International Schools Software Competition will be further developed over the coming year. Additional initiatives planned include the development of programs and activities to create regional frameworks and standards, and a focus on the further development of relationships with key international stakeholders involved in supporting the growth of ICT in the Asia Pacific region.