Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Brunei Town

ICT sector contributed BND484.8M to GDP, says permanent secretary

The informations and communications technology (ICT) sector contributed BND484.8 million in 2023 to Brunei Darussalam’s gross domestic product (GDP), Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) Ir Haji Mohammad Nazri bin Haji Mohammad Yusof said in a keynote address during the Digital Brunei Stakeholder Town Hall at the Brunei Energy Hub Dermaga Diraja yesterday.

He added that the data showed a 13.4-per-cent increase from 2019 to 2020, while in 2023, it recorded an increase of five per cent from the previous year.

Ir Haji Mohammad Nazri added, according to the ICT Development Index 2024 released recently by the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union, Brunei Darussalam scored 95.1, improving from last year’s 94.8, and continues to be one of the highest in ASEAN.

The global average score was 74.8. The Sultanate’s performance was attributed to over 90 per cent of the population having access to the Internet and 4G/5G mobile network services. “The launch of 5G mobile network services and upgrade of fixed broadband speed in 2023 were part of our broader initiatives to bolster the ICT sector, aiming to enhance the digital infrastructure which are core to enabling the digital transformation,” he said.

He added, “We have also recently expanded our mobile network coverage across Brunei to remote areas such as Kampong Melilas and Kampong Sukang in Ulu Belait.”

The permanent secretary also said the Sultanate had jumped five places from 92nd to 87th out of 132 economies on the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2023. “However, there is still room for greater improvement, including developing a comprehensive National Framework for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) to further the country’s innovation landscape and increase its competitiveness in the field of science and technology.”

The event, organised by the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) saw the launch of Digital Brunei Event Calendar by the guest of honour, Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Shamhary bin Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Mustapha. The event calendar provides a platform to discover and showcase digital events such as conferences, exhibitions, workshops, launches and outreach programmes and can be found at www.digitalbrunei.bn/calendar.

AITI’s Corporate Communications Manager and Digital Brunei Project Manager Nurmajdina Afiah binti Haji Md Yusuf Thani delivered an introductory presentation on Digital Brunei, highlighting the objectives of Digital Brunei as well as the upcoming activities in the pipeline.

The town hall concluded with a stakeholder discussion session moderated by Confer Sdn Bhd Managing Director Allen Lai, where the stakeholders’ digital priorities were discussed.

Digital Brunei is a flagship programme under the Digital Economy Council that aims to build Brunei Darussalam as a country fully embracing innovation and digital technology in today’s age through showcasing innovation and success stories, enhancing digital literacy and basic skills, community engagement and digital inclusion. – Azlan Othman

Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Shamhary bin Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Mustapha launches the Digital Brunei Event Calendar. PHOTO: AZLAN OTHMAN
The minister and guests at the event. PHOTO: AZLAN OTHMAN