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The great linguistic diversity in the Asia Pacific region presents a significant social barrier to widespread use of ICTs. If communities in the region are to cross over into the information age, ICTs must be enabled in their languages. Localization is necessary to give these communities the opportunity to use and benefit from the ICT revolution. However, most of these communities neither have capacity nor currently present the financial incentives for private investment in localization. There is no easy or short-term solution to this problem and a considerable and coordinated national, regional and international effort is required. The initial focus must be on sustainable human resource and technology development within these countries. In addition, a two-tier policy must be adopted—first to support localization through public funding and second to concurrently create enough demand for local language computing, for example through e-government initiatives, to trigger private sector interest.
In conclusion, localization should not be looked at as an obstacle, but as an opening for Asia Pacific to revitalize its IT industry and to develop its knowledge economy. Proper national and regional policy planning and execution can turn the challenges into opportunities.