The small business segment in Thailand and Indonesia invested a total of $1.3 bln and $1.6 bln in IT, respectively, in the last 12 months. The context for this commitment to IT investment is a dramatic growth in GDP. Robust domestic demand resulted in a growth rate of 6.3% for ASEAN countries 2004. Following the 1997 economic crisis, this is the second highest annual GDP growth, behind only the 6.7% achieved in 2000. It compares with a global GDP growth of 5.1%, and comes amidst a sharp increase in international oil prices and outbreaks of avian flu. Another factor is that ASEAN governments have recognized that the success in promoting small and medium businesses (SMBs) is critical to long-term sustainable economic growth. SMBs drive 40% and 57% of the country’s GDP in Thailand and Indonesia, respectively, and are each country’s largest source of jobs. Both countries’ governments have actively helped SMBs use technology to enhance competition. From 2004 to 2009, investment in IT is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of over 20% for Thailand and Indonesia small businesses, AMI Partners reported.