Monday, March 18, 2013

Google eyes opportunities in Myanmar

Monday, 18 March 2013 12:13 Rosie Gogan-Keogh

Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt will be the first high-profile tech representative to visit Myanmar when he travels to the country later this week.

Schmidt “is visiting several countries in Asia to connect with local partners and Googlers who are working to improve the lives of many millions of people across the region by helping them get online and access the world’s information for the first time in the next few years,” Google said in a statement.

He will give a speech at the Myanmar Information and Communication Technology Park in Yangon on Friday before visiting Naypyidaw where he will meet senior government officials, said Zaw Min Oo, secretary-general of the Myanmar Computer Society, according to The New York Times.

Schmidt has been busy exploring Asian markets recently: in November he visited Seoul, Taipei and Beijing. He controversially travelled to North Korea in January and will head to India after his Myanmar trip.

This visit marks the latest step in Myanmar's rapidly developing tech and telecoms sector. The country currently has one of the lowest internet usage and mobile phone penetrations in the world and more than 90 telecoms firms have reportedly bid for tenders for four telecoms operating licenses.

Analysts believe that the expected telecoms boom could pave the way for companies like Google to enter the android market through sales of cheap smartphones.
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