TOKYO (Nikkei) -- NEC Corp. (6701.TO, NIPNF) will expand into Myanmar in anticipation of growing demand for building information technology infrastructure as more Japanese manufacturers and retailers move into the Southeast Asian nation, the Nikkei reports in its Dec. 24 edition.
The company plans to open its first Myanmar branch next month in Yangon, the country's largest city. Another office is expected to be set up in the capital, Naypyidaw, in the spring.
The Myanmar operations will start out with several staff members, taking on more personnel as the business expands. NEC is looking to tap demand from individual companies and industrial parks for building information-technology infrastructure, as well as orders for laying undersea cables and developing infrastructure for telecommunications services.
NEC is focusing particularly hard on telecom infrastructure. The Myanmar government aims to lift to 50% the number of Myanmar residents with mobile-phone subscriptions by 2015, from only a few percent with any phone service at all today.
Amid rising labor costs and heightened anti-Japan sentiment in China, Japanese companies are stepping up efforts to move operations from that country to Myanmar and elsewhere in Asia.
Research firm IDC Japan estimates that the IT market in Myanmar will grow an annual 16% on average from 2011 to 2016.
Attracted by the strong growth potential, NTT Data Corp. launched a local unit in Yangon last month. The plan is to use this as an offshore development base for hardware systems and software, as well as to win system-development contracts from Japanese businesses and local-government agencies.
Fujitsu Ltd. (6702.TO, FJTSY) has yet to establish a local presence but has already secured an order with the Daiwa Institute of Research and KDDI Corp. to develop a backbone IT network for Myanmar's central bank.
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