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Brunei’s digital milestones highlighted

The progress and exciting initiatives shaping Brunei Darussalam’s digital future were highlighted at the Digital Brunei Stakeholder Town Hall held on Wednesday at the Energy Hub, Dermaga Diraja in the capital.

In his keynote address, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications, Ir Awang Haji Mohammad Nazri bin Haji Mohammad Yusof, outlined key success measures (KSMs) under the Digital Economy Masterplan 2025. These initiatives aim to ensure the development of Brunei’s digital economy.

The ICT sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was notable, with BND 484.8 million reported in 2023. Haji Mohd Nazri noted a significant increase of 13.4 per cent from 2019 to 2020 and a 5.0 per cent increase in 2023 from the previous year.

According to the recently released ICT Development Index 2024 by the United Nation’s International Telecommunication Union, Brunei Darussalam scored 95.1, improving from 94.8 last year and remaining one of the highest in ASEAN. The global average score was 74.8. This performance is attributed to over 90 per cent of the population having access to the internet and enjoying 4G/5G mobile network services.

Digital Brunei Event Calendar launched by Minister of Transport and Infocommunications, Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Shamhary bin Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Mustapha. PHOTOS: AZLAN OTHMAN
Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications, Ir Awang Haji Mohammad Nazri bin Haji Mohammad Yusof in his speech.

The launch of 5G mobile network services and the upgrade of fixed broadband speeds in 2023 are part of broader initiatives to bolster the ICT sector and enhance digital infrastructure, which are core to enabling digital transformation. The mobile network coverage has also been expanded to remote areas such as Kampung Melilas and Kampung Sukang in Ulu Belait.

Additionally, Brunei Darussalam’s achievement in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2023 saw the nation jump from 92nd to 87th among 132 economies. This reflects continuous efforts to encourage innovation and technological development.

However, there is still room for improvement. The development of a comprehensive National Framework for Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) aims to enhance the country’s innovation landscape further and increase Brunei’s competitiveness in science and technology. Effective implementation of this framework is expected to advance Brunei in the global innovation arena and improve its position in future GII rankings.

The event also saw the Minister of Transport and Infocommunications, Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Shamhary bin Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Mustapha, launch the Digital Brunei Event Calendar. – AZLAN OTHMAN

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