Japan’s Daiwa plans network investment in Myanmar

Japanese financial firm Daiwa Securities Group is reportedly planning to lead a $380 million investment in Myanmar to build an IT backbone for the government in partnership with Japanese tech companies.

Reuters reports that Daiwa has long-standing links in the country and has already been chosen to help set up a local stock exchange, as well as by the central bank to draw up plans for the computer network, and is seeking Japanese government aid to offset the cost.

Interested parties include Panasonic, Toshiba, Hitachi, NEC and KDDI, according to Takashi Fukai, president of Daiwa Institute of Research.

The network is planned to connect all government ministries in Myanmar, as well as schools and hospitals, to a cloud computing system. This is considered a cheaper and faster alternative to constructing a traditional server-based system.

The cloud-based system has an estimated cost of $384 million and will start with the central bank’s hubs in the capital Naypyitaw, as well as the cities of Yangon and Mandalay.

Reforms over the last year led by the quasi-civilian government of Myanmar taking over from the military junta have convinced the EU and US to ease sanctions against the country.

This has led to foreign investors eyeing the untapped potential of the market, which is resource rich but has poor infrastructure.