Broadband key to Asia-Pacific smart, digital economy

National 2 minutes, 34 seconds

BRUNEI-MUARA

BROADBAND development has paved the way for countries in the Asia-Pacific region to move towards building a smart digital economy.

Both the Minister of Communications and the Secretary General of Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) mentioned this in their speeches during the Asia-Pacific ICT Ministerial Meeting yesterday at the Indera Samudera Grand Hall of Empire Hotel and Country Club.

Carrying the theme “Building a Smart Digital Economy through ICT”, the secretary general, Toshiyuki Yamada, said that the smart digital economy will be founded on the groundwork of broadband network and infrastructure that has been developed to meet the Bali Statement made five years ago at the previous Asia-Pacific ICT Ministerial Meeting.

Yamada said that the use of the word “smart”, for example in smart grid, smart car, smart home and smart appliances, has helped turned dreams into reality with the use of new technologies.

The secretary general said that these technologies play a crucial role in the new ICT ecosystem, helping to utilise the resources more efficiently and smartly, and offers “new sources of revenue for the ICT industry”.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdullah Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar agreed with the secretary general and said that development of broadband is one of the enabling factors for moving towards a smart digital economy.

Additionally, the minister said that wider adoption of ICT and human capacity building are some of the enabling factors along with a conducive environment for growth.

The ministry through its Strategic Plan 2008-2017 has a vision towards the creation of a “Smart Society” said YB Pehin Dato Hj Abdullah.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Abdullah said that having a Smart Society means that any task can be done anytime and anywhere. “One of the features of Smart Society is the ability of having every day endeavours, social and economic activities accomplished with the optimum resources.”

The minister stated again that broadband development along with a conducive policy and regulatory environment are the enabling factors that will help the ministry reach its vision.

Human capacity building was also stressed by the minister in his speech yesterday. He said that in ensuring a safe and sustainable ICT ecosystem, capacity building cannot be undermined and that the ministry will be focusing on local young talents to drive the ICT industry.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Abdullah said, “Brunei Darussalam was now at the initial but critical stage of developing our National ICT Manpower Masterplan”.

“The National ICT Manpower Masterplan aims to harness ICT skills towards productivity and innovation across many sectors of the economy.”

It was reported earlier this year that the masterplan will help to systematically map out the demand and supply projections and strategies for ICT manpower for the next five years.

After the opening speech, the minister proceeded to chair the first session of the Asia-Pacific ICT Ministerial Meeting.

The first session discussed the achievements of the Bali Plan of Action over the past five years, where two reports were presented by Yamada, the secretary general, and Nigel Pugh, Consulting Director of APAC.

The Brunei Times