Infrastructure resilience & ICT development in Southeast Asia

The Aid & International Development Forum (AIDF) has released an infographic that explores infrastructure resilience and access to services in Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on Myanmar.

The global infrastructure gap is a pressing issue. According to the Asian Development Bank, $26 trillion is required by 2030 to resolve Asia’s infrastructure funding gap. Another $800 billion is necessary to provide 1.5 billion people in the region with access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

To keep pace with the rapid growth of economies, population and urbanisation, Southeast Asia needs to invest $16 trillion in transport, energy, telecommunications, water and sanitation. This is more than 60 per cent share of the global investment required.

Considering the enactment of the investment law and introduction of income tax exemptions, which come into effect in April, Myanmar has many potentially attractive opportunities for foreign investors, particularly in the sectors of infrastructure, transport and energy.

Burmese government is looking to build around 1.8 million public homes by 2020 and provide 10 million units over the next 20 years to support low-income and impoverished families. More than three quarters of Myanmar’s population already have access to improved water source and sanitation facilities.

Created in time for the 3rd annual Aid & Development Asia Summit, the infographic also highlights access to technology in Myanmar and surrounding states of Bangladesh, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. To download the infographic, click here.

According to the GSMA, Myanmar was the “3rd least penetrated mobile market in the world” in 2012, yet a low cost SIM card was introduced to make mobile communication more accessible.

As of 2016, one third of Burmese have never even used a mobile phone. Due to the low-middle income of the country, women have been expelled from the mobile revolution leaving the most mobile users to be employed workers.

Of Southeast Asia, Cambodia stands as one of the strongest mobile phone user ratio with 133.6 phones per 100 people, whereas Laos only has 53.1 phones for 100 people, according to The World Bank data.

The global average of internet use is 44%. More than half (54 per cent) of Thailand population are using the internet, while in Myanmar internet penetration is as low as 9 per cent. Many Burmese do not use the internet, not only due to lack of internet access but also because of a negative perception of the internet itself.

“Data service users have limited digital skills and, as a result, a limited understanding of what the ‘internet’ is”, states the report. Their usage is often limited to mainly social media and calling apps. There is also a lack of cultural relevance encouraging people to access the internet, as many still do not use it.

If you would like to know more about strengthening infrastructure resilience and improving access to technology in Asia, join the 3rd annual Aid & Development Asia Summit, which will take place in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on 14 - 15 June 2017.

The two day summit will include expert speakers, such as Tim Aye-Hardy, Executive Director of Myanmar Mobile Education Project, Pokhrel Bishnu, Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Section at UNICEF, Robbie Barkell, Private Sector Development Advisor for the Department for International Development (DfID) and Domenico Scalpelli, Country Director, United Nations World Food Programme, who will discuss latest mobile for development programmes and innovations as well as communication, connectivity and use of social networks in the region.

To view detailed agenda, please visit To register your participation, click here

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