| Azaraimy HH |
THE Asia-Pacific ICT Ministerial Meeting hosted by Brunei Darussalam commenced yesterday at the Indera Samudra Grand Hall of The Empire Hotel & Country Club. Information and Communications ministers from 39 Asia-Pacific countries are attending the meeting.
The opening ceremony began with a welcome address by Toshiyuki Yamada, Secretary General of Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT), followed by an address by Houlin Zhao, Deputy Secretary General of International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and a welcome address by Minister of Communications Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar.
The minister said Brunei is proud to be the host of the Asia-Pacific ICT Ministerial Meeting.
The meeting, with the theme ‘Building a Smart Digital Economy Through ICT,’ discussed various topics including Smart Policy for Sustainable Growth of ICT and Economy; Safe and Secure Society through ICT; Enabling a Sustainable ICT Ecosystem for an Innovative Economy and Business; and Capacity Building and Institutional Development.
Through these key areas, the Minister of Communications said, the focus is given on the importance of broadband development and creation of a conducive environment for growth which includes facilitation of businesses and promotion of ICT entrepreneurship.
The meeting has set four objectives such as to commemorate the 35th anniversary of APT and recognise the valuable role of APT in ensuring regional cooperation on telecommunication/ICT and renewing the high-level commitment for continued support to further strengthen the community; to provide policy guidelines for the region for the next five years on the development of telecommunication/ICT and its critical role in enabling a creative economy and realising socio-economic development; to evaluate and follow-up on the developments in telecommunication/ICT, especially broadband development in the member countries towards achieving the objectives of the Bali Statement and Plan of Action; and to provide a platform for the ministers to have a free and open discussion on the pressing issues of the industry, among themselves and with experts and key leaders in the industry.
The Minister of Communications highlighted the efforts to align Brunei’s policy and strategies with the identified key priority areas. He reminded that Brunei Vision 2035 aims to strive towards a more dynamic and sustainable economy.
As the meeting is held every five years, the Ministerial Statement will chart the direction and strategic plan of APT for the next five years, the minister said, adding that healthy exchange of information between ministers and delegates will take place in the next two days.
The minister expressed hope that various sessions during the meeting will provide valuable knowledge to strengthen the participant countries’ communication networks.
Additionally, the delegates of the meeting last night attended the Brunei ICT Awards 2014 Gala Dinner at the International Convention Centre.