Following its annual conference earlier this week, the South East Asia Computer Confederation (SEARCC) has announced that it has formed a new leadership committee for 2012 and 2013. Australian Computer Society (ACS) president, Nick Tate, has been elected president, and ACS national treasurer, Yohan Ramasundara, has been appointed acting secretary general.
In commenting on the announcement, Tate said, “Under outgoing president, Satish Babu, and secretary general, Yasa Karunaratne, SEARCC has enhanced cooperation 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 qualified workforce with certifiable ICT skills, and the aim of my presidency will be to advance professionalism across the region.”
During a closed government and industry workshop at the conference, hosted by John Hewson (Australian economist and former politician), SEARCC delegates discussed key regional issues affecting ICT, focusing on how the power of technology is underpinned by the power of people.
Key areas of focus included Accenture statistic which indicate that 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 $US1.9 trillion.
The ASEAN 2015 ICT Masterplan has set 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 $US32 billion.
ACS research indicates that the Australian digital economy currently accounts for $100 billion, or 7.7 per cent of Australian GDP.
“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,” Ramasundara said. “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.”
Initiatives expected to be further developed are the annual SEARCC Conference, and the International Schools Software Competition.
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.