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Mobile industry contributes $1.1 tn to Asia Pacific economy: Study

By Ians

Shanghai, July 14: The mobile industry in Asia Pacific contributes more than $1 trillion per year to the region's economy, fuelled by rising mobile broadband and smartphone penetration, a new report by GSMA said.

GSMA (Groupe Speciale Mobile Association) is an association of mobile operators and related companies devoted to supporting the standardising, deployment and promotion of the GSM mobile telephone system.

'Mobile industry contributes $1.1 tn'

The report also claims that the mobile industry contributed $1.1 trillion to the Asia Pacific economy in 2014, equivalent to 4.7 percent of the region's GDP and an increase of nearly $200 billion compared to the previous year, with over a quarter of this economic contribution generated directly by mobile operators.

"The Asia Pacific region features some of the world's most advanced mobile markets, as well as fast-growing emerging markets that are using mobile as a platform to deliver essential services such as education, healthcare and banking," said Anne Bouverot, director general of the GSMA.

"The report demonstrates how mobile is enabling digital inclusion and building digital societies across Asia, supporting a new era of innovation in areas such as digital commerce, the Internet of Things and mobile identity," he added.

It also states that Asia Pacific now accounts for half of the world's unique mobile subscribers and mobile connections and will continue to grow at a faster pace than the global average over the next five years, adding 600 million new unique subscribers by 2020.

According to the report, mobile operators directly contributed $286 billion to the total in 2014, equivalent to 1.2 percent of regional GDP and predicts that the Asia Pacific mobile industry will be worth $1.8 trillion by 2020, accounting for 5.9 percent of projected regional GDP by this point.

As per the report, in 2014 the mobile ecosystem directly and indirectly employed 12.5 million people in Asia Pacific, a figure expected to rise to 15 million by 2020.

"Asia Pacific has a unique opportunity to lead the global development of the mobile-powered digital society, putting mobile at the heart of a new digital ecosystem," said Bouverot.

"By implementing market conditions that encourage investment and innovation, the Asia Pacific region will be able to fully realise the positive transformative social and economic potential of mobile for the remainder of the decade and beyond," he added.

Also, the report said the industry makes a substantial contribution to the funding of the public sector, with approximately $130 billion contributed in 2014 in the form of general taxation. This is set to grow to over $150 billion by 2020.


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