SINGAPORE, June 19, 2019 – In a bid to enhance collaboration with Southeast Asian businesses, the State Government of Victoria has brought experts from industries such as telecommunications, cybersecurity, e-commerce and data management representing 29 ICT companies from Melbourne, Australia to ConnecTechAsia 2019. The event is being held at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore from 18-20 June.
Four years after the Victorian Government announced a five-year plan to define the state’s approach to ICT sector, Victoria is now home to over 8,000 ICT companies. Global Victoria is supporting the growth of these businesses across Southeast Asia, especially across Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, where it has offices through relationship building with key stakeholders.
“At Global Victoria, we are creating an ecosystem that provides Victorian companies access to markets outside of the State while enabling businesses in Southeast Asia to enter and establish a presence in the state of Victoria. Southeast Asia is witnessing tremendous growth, and the region is leapfrogging technologies,” said Brett Stevens, Commissioner for Victoria to Southeast Asia. “We aim to showcase the companies that are best suited to solve the specific business problems in Southeast Asia and help them establish themselves,” he added.
Many participating Victorian tech companies at ConnecTechAsia are enabling small businesses in Southeast Asia to accelerate the adoption of digital tools and to compete with larger firms. “Governments across Southeast Asia are focused on enabling SMEs to adopt digital solutions. In fact, the Go Digital programme which offers SMEs rebates to adopt digital solutions in Singapore is a great initiative. However, the challenge is to ensure that the business truly adopts these platforms, as most SMEs drop the ball after a few months of experimentation,” said Rishi Tandon, CEO of Twirll. “Small businesses need digital solutions that are built around their business and solve specific issues. They should not need to build their business around digital solutions,” he added.
Moving beyond digital enablement, the Victorian companies are also enabling Southeast Asian businesses to explore overseas markets. For instance, Singapore’s extensive network of more than 20 Free Trade Agreements provides an opportunity for local businesses to expand in Australia and other markets globally. However, there are several challenges when it comes to doing business overseas. One of them is meeting continually evolving international compliance standards such as Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and cybersecurity regulations.
“Southeast Asia is witnessing rapid growth, and for businesses to expand globally, they need to be compliant with international standards,” said Paul Molenaar, Director of Compliance Experts. “As it can be extremely time-consuming and complicated, streamlining the fragmented and manual compliance process will enable businesses as well as governments and trade bodies to fast track their capability and future-proof themselves.”
The other challenge in overseas expansion is to get access to fast and direct connections to the rest of the world. “As Australia’s most trusted data centre provider, we are excited to support Southeast Asia’s acceleration towards a cloud-based economy by providing organisations access to the most direct connectivity and the fastest gateway between Singapore and Australia,” said David Dzienciol, Chief Customer Officer and SVP of Technology at NEXTDC.
Many companies also highlighted the challenges associated with working in Southeast Asia, mostly around language and localisation. However, they were confident that these challenges can be overcome by working with local partners and customising their solutions for individual markets.