ASEAN ministers discuss regional ICT development

Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof attended the 19th ASEAN Telecommunications and IT Ministers Meeting (19th TELMIN) and its related meetings in Vientiane, Lao PDR from October 24-25.

Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib led a delegation of senior officials from the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) and the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI).

The annual meeting gathers ICT/Digital Ministers from ASEAN member states to discuss regional ICT development and decide on the direction of ICT cooperation within ASEAN and with the dialogue partners.

The key outcome of the meeting was the Vientiane Declaration on ‘Smart Connectivity for ASEAN Digital Transformation’ which was adopted to advance ASEAN’s desire to strengthen digital connectivity and accessibility, so as to pave the way for a thriving digital economy and society in the region.

In line with the role of ICT as an enabler of digital transformation to other sectors, the ministers agreed to rename TELMIN to ASEAN Digital Ministers’ Meeting (ADGMIN). They also adopted the framework for the development of the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025 that will supersede the current ASEAN ICT Masterplan (AIM) 2020 by the end of next year.

ASEAN ministers also reaffirmed the importance of promoting regional cybersecurity collaborations and enhancing coordination among member states on cybersecurity policy development and capacity building.

Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof in conversation with Minister of Industry and Information Technology, China, Miao Wei during an informal meeting on the sidelines of the 19th ASEAN TELMIN in Vientiane, Lao PDR. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT AND INFOCOMMUNICATIONS

The ministers welcomed 5G initiatives within ASEAN, including 5G infrastructure, spectrum management, use cases and security.

They also held meetings with dialogue partners namely, China, Japan and Korea. In these meetings, the ministers appreciated the progress achieved in the cooperation with the dialogue partners. Under the cooperation with China, the ministers welcomed the 2020 China-ASEAN Year of Cooperation on Digital Economy and endorsed the China-ASEAN ICT Work Plan for 2020.

The ministers welcomed the endorsement of the 2020 ASEAN-Korea ICT Work Plan to foster cooperation in maximising the benefits and development of emerging technologies, such as 5G and artificial intelligence.

They also endorsed the 2020 ASEAN-Japan ICT Work Plan which supports the implementation of the AIM2020 initiatives relevant to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by digitalisation.

Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib also held a courtesy call with Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Lao PDR. Also present during the courtesy call was Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to Lao PDR Haji Na’aim bin Haji Mohd Salleh.

Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib also held a series of informal meetings with his counterparts from China and Korea to discuss efforts and initiatives to strengthen bilateral relations in the fields of 5G and digital economy.

The 19th TELMIN was preceded by the 20th ASEAN Telecommunications and IT Senior Officials’ Meeting (20th TELSOM) on October 22-23. The Brunei delegation to the 20th TELSOM was led by AITI Chief Executive Pengiran Haji Mohammad Zain bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Razak.