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700 million more internet users in Asia underpins the argument for the NBN. The opportunity for e-commerce is underlined by a recent survey by McKinsey.

The survey of 13,000 individuals in China, India and Malaysia found that there will be 700 million new Internet users in five years time.  This is in addition to the 500 million people who are already connected to the Internet in these markets.

The opportunity this presents for the technology industry in general and the e-commerce industry in particular is enormous with McKinsey putting it at approximately $80 billion.  We would include media and entertainment companies in this as much of this growth will be driven by a desire for content including music, movies, sports and news.

The opportunities for device manufacturers (including mobile phones), communications infrastructure, content and web services are obvious and all these companies must be progressing towards or developing strategies for entering these markets. The opportunities for Australia do not arise just because of our proximity to these markets but because of the chance provided by e-commerce to take advantage of this growth and sell to these massive markets.

E-commerce provides an opportunity to take advantage of these markets equally to a widget seller in regional Australia as it does to a business in Silicon Valley.  However we must have the correct infrastructure to take advantage of this opportunity. That means not only do we need world class broadband as promised by the NBN but we also need better logistics to move goods to these markets.  E-commerce provides a level playing field for all but improved infrastructure will tilt the field in our favour.

For more information about the survey please go to the McKinsey site