Brunei launches Nat’l ICT White Paper 2016-2020

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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

BRUNEI launched the National ICT White Paper for 2016-2020 yesterday to set a strategic direction for the sector and acknowledge its role as Brunei’s future engine of economic growth.

The white paper aspires to achieve eight targets by 2020.

It hopes to see a six per cent contribution by the ICT sector towards the national GDP; 6,000 skilled ICT professionals; five local SMEs with regional businesses; 30 places improvement in key rankings and having 80 per cent of customers satisfied.

The targets also include having the cost of broadband be only 1.5 per cent of the average monthly income; have 50,000 online business to consumer (B2C) marketplace transactions, and having 18,000 citizens trained in ICT literacy.

For successful implementation of the plan, the white paper acknowledged that strong governance must be in place to ensure timely mitigation to manage changing priorities and needs of Brunei.

There is also the need for continued strategic investments in ICT.

Issued by the Ministry of Communications and AITI with recommendations and input from the business community, the telecommunications industry and public servants, the white paper said: “To make ICT the future engine of economic growth for Brunei, government investments are still necessary to support the still fledging local ICT industry, so as to create a tipping point in momentum where the private sector organisations can take over and continue the economy diversification effort.”

More importantly, the white paper identified the need for a mindset change to transition to a new knowledge-based economy and embrace ICT extensively.

“The people, businesses and the government of Brunei must be prepared to do things differently and adapt to new ways of learning, living, doing business, staying connected and delivering public services,” it said.

Yesterday also saw the launch of the National ICT Manpower Masterplan which has the goal to grow the number of skilled ICT professionals to 6,000 by creating 1,800 additional jobs in ICT by 2020.

The masterplan identified the need to make ICT as an attractive career option for Bruneians, developing highly skilled ICT professionals with industry relevant competencies and creating a vibrant ICT industry as a source of employment as important proxies to achieving the creation of an added 1,800 jobs.

Minister of Communications Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Hj Mustappa Hj Sirat, who launched the white paper and manpower masterplan, told The Brunei Times he would like to see more local developments of software, local creativity and creative industries.

The Brunei Times