Boardroom Briefing: cloud computing growth, Chinese investment falls, and foreign workers revisited


CloudCover targets growth in SE Asia, China’s Pacific investment takes a dive, and foreign workers re-examined. Readings from around the world on business, leadership and management.

Cloudy with a chance of growth

CloudCover sees huge growth for cloud computing services after the pandemic. Photo: Instagram

With the official launch of the Coral Sea Cable last week in Port Moresby, PNG’s tech entrepreneurs might want to take a leaf out of CloudCover’s book. The Indian tech group, that focuses on cloud-based systems, told Channel News Asia that South East Asia is ripe for tech growth, even after the pandemic is under control.

‘Even through Covid-19 we’re seeing strong growth in new customers for cloud-native migrations, platform builds and operations for both infrastructure and data,’ the company said. ‘These services make up our core business so it’s encouraging to see demand unabated.’

With Covid-19 accelerating customer demand for digital technologies to ensure resilient enterprise business operations across Asia Pacific, the knock-on effect has resulted in cloud-based offerings outshining traditional products.

Chinese investment falls in Australia

The University of Sydney. Photo: Instagram

In a worrying sign for the Pacific region, Chinese investment in near neighbour Australia took a big fall in 2019, according to a new KPMG report, Demystifying Chinese Investment in Australia, co-authored with the University of Sydney.

‘The decline of Chinese investment in Australia mirrors the situation for a number of western countries including the USA, Canada and members of the European Union,’ said report co-author Professor Hans Hendrischke.

‘Chinese companies have invested over US$107 billion into Australia since 2008 and this capital has been a really important contributor to economic growth locally but new investment is slowing.’

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COVID-19 forces hard look at foreign workers

In a piece for Forbes, author Ade Gaskell might be talking about America when he says that ‘visa restrictions will worsen the post-COVID recession’ but it is a concern to all countries that have a high level of foreign workers.

Although it is noted that there are economic benefits brought to the US by immigrants – recent research showing that even undocumented migrants bring far more economic benefits than costs – a new world of visa restrictions may be awaiting on the other side of the pandemic.

Singapore is starting to examine if it can rely less on foreign workers after COVID-19 not only ran rampant through the cramped living conditions of many foreign labourers but also highlighted the country’s dependence on imported talent.

As supply chains around the world fall victim to the coronavirus restrictions, it seems that labour may the next area of business to adopt the ‘look local’ mantra – but at what cost?

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