| Azlan Othman |
BRUNEI Darussalam views its involvement in regional and international organisations such as the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) and International Telecommunications Unions (ITU) with great significance.
This was highlighted by the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Communications, Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yusof at the Asia-Pacific Telecommunications and ICT Development Forum held at The Empire Hotel & Country Club yesterday.
He said, “It is through such avenues that we learn the best practices, which is to be emulated and adopted to our national perspective. We are also able to tap into the available professional and technical expertise to assist in our policy formulation and implementation.”
An example highlighted by the permanent secretary is the Brunei Darussalam National Broadband Policy, which was formulated by the Ministry of Communications and the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) in collaboration with the ITU.
He added that since becoming a member of the APT in 1986, Brunei Darussalam has gained substantially in various areas of ICT development. Opportunities in human capacity building, training and expert advice, among others, have helped us to shape our national policies and regulations in ICT.
“Another good example is that Brunei Darussalam is one of the committing parties in aligning with the APT 700MHz band plan. In this regard, the APT has given Brunei the opportunity to gain better understanding in addressing current issues pertaining to this band plan. In short, we have always been supportive and participative in the initiatives organised by the APT,” the permanent secretary said.
Awang Abdul Mutalib added, “I am also pleased to note that there would also be a session on programmes for ICT pilot projects in rural areas. This is one topic that is very close to our hearts, as the Brunei Darussalam National Broadband Policy aims to, among others, address accessibility and affordability of ICT services in rural areas.
“With this in mind, I am confident that despite the differences in culture, economies and level of development, we all share the same vision towards a smart digital economy through ICT.”
Brunei Darussalam is currently hosting the 11th Asia-Pacific Telecommunications and ICT Development Forum (ADF-11) from September 8 to 10. Representatives from 37 countries are attending the meeting to discuss key issues to prepare for the Asia-Pacific ICT Ministerial Meeting on ‘Building Smart Digital Economy through ICT’, which is slated for September 10 -11.
The ADF-11 will deliberate the outcome of the Correspondence Group and report on the ICT Development Programme for Supporting ICT Pilot Projects in Rural Areas and will deliberate projects to be presented to the APT Ministerial Meeting.
The ADF-11 session on the Report on the ICT Development Programme for Supporting ICT Pilot Projects in Rural Areas was chaired by Toshiyuki Yamada, Secretary-General of APT, while the preparation for the Asia-Pacific ICT Ministerial Meeting was chaired by Hj Yahkup bin Hj Menudin, Chief Executive of AITI.
The delegates attending ADF-11 were also hosted to a welcoming dinner by the Minister of Communications, Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar, last night.