• December 30, 2014

December 30, 2014?Myanmar?s drive to advance national\r\ndevelopment through information and communications technology (ICT), an effort\r\nsupported by Nathan Associates Inc., received a significant boost in December\r\nwith formation of the U.S.-Myanmar Information Communications Technology\r\nCouncil.

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Cisco Systems Inc., Google Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co.,\r\nMicrosoft Corp., and Qualcomm Inc. collaborated with the U.S. Agency for\r\nInternational Development (USAID) on formation of the council, which the U.S.\r\nEmbassy in Yangon announced on December 19. The council, according to an\r\nEmbassy statement, ?will help advance policies and programs in cooperation with\r\na broad range of relevant stakeholders in civil society, the national ICT\r\nindustry, and government.?

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U.S. digital technology companies have supported Myanmar in\r\na number of activities, according to information supplied by the State\r\nDepartment. For example, Cisco?s ?Network Academies? train students on IT and\r\nnetworking, Hewlett-Packard offers a business and IT program for entrepreneurs,\r\nand Microsoft has allied with Myanma Computer Company to train 100,000 people\r\nin work skills.

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Myanmar has ?barely begun to tap? the power of mobile and\r\nInternet technology to accelerate development, McKinsey & Co.?s McKinsey\r\nGlobal Institute said in a 2013 report. ICT would help numerous sectors, including\r\neducation, in Myanmar. To harness ICT, the country will need to carry out an ?aggressive\r\ntelecommunications infrastructure plan,? McKinsey said. The new council?s\r\nagenda in the coming year will include a focus on developing ICT\r\ninfrastructure.

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Nathan Associates, through a contract\r\nwith USAID, is assisting Myanmar and other members of the Association of\r\nSoutheast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with implementing economic reforms, promoting\r\nentrepreneurship through small and medium enterprises, and strengthening ICT\r\ncapacity. Separately, in 2013, Nathan?s telecommunications\r\npractice advised the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology\r\non overhauling regulation of network access and interconnection.

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