Government to ensure policies support ICT sector

National 2 minutes, 29 seconds


EXISTING regulatory policies will continue to be evaluated to ensure their effectiveness and relevance to the current ICT ecosystem, a senior government official said yesterday.

Hj Azhar Hj Ahmad, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Communications (MinComm), said the ministry along with industry regulator the Authority for Info-Communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam, or AITI, will work together with telcos to determine the best policies that will aid the growth of the ICT sector.

“Close cooperation between the government and telcos will play a critical and mutually beneficial role through various avenues such as local content development and other aspects of the creative industry in the name of Brunei-made products,” he said.

He said this during his speech as the guest of honour at Telekom Brunei Berhad (TelBru) ICT Forum 2016 at the Rizqun International Hotel.

This year’s edition of the forum covered topics on the smart nation and its potential for improving industries and the quality of life.

He said the ministry also wants to drive the local ICT sector, which must not only use technology but also create solutions.

“We aspire to not only become the end users of technology but to venture aggressively into the provision of solutions through dedicated research and technology, innovation as well as institutionalisation of intellectual property for ICT products,” he said.

He said advancements in technology in the telecommunications sector had already been taken into account in the existing national ICT policy.

In this way, we will narrow the digital divide, which will enable us to pursue a knowledge-based society in all activities, he said.

He said a knowledge-based society acts as a springboard for the country to venture into a variety of telecom services.

This would increase efficiency in services, promote the growth of the private sector and strengthen the overall economic climate for continuous development, he said.

He said the ministry, through AITI and the national telcos, will strive for a smart nation through technological advancement, human capacity development and making infrastructural investments to ensure access and affordability for all.

During the event, Lim Ming Soon, chief marketing officer of TelBru, said the telco’s infrastructure is capable of supporting smart nation initiatives. He also highlighted the need for increased cooperation among stakeholders in the country to realise the vision.

In a press release, TelBru said the theme was chosen to raise public awareness on the possibilities of a smart nation. The telco said it has already begun working on this with initiatives such as the launch of its first Smart Nation Experience Centre showcase at its new store in Kg Rimba.

The event also featured panel discussions with smart nation experts and government officials on how a smart nation can benefit the economy and improve the standard of living.

The forum was attended by around 350 participants from both the government and private sector, including ICT developers and students. Also present was David Kay, CEO of TelBru, along with other senior officials.

The Brunei Times