Urging that ASEAN reinvigorate itself, Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong called for renewed response from ASEAN1 on its economic integration efforts. 2. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Third ASEAN Telecommunications and IT Ministers Meeting (3rd ASEAN TELMIN)2, themed "ICT: Building a connected and vibrant ASEAN Economic Community"...
Singapore, 18 September 2003 | For Immediate Release
Urging that ASEAN reinvigorate itself, Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong called for renewed response from ASEAN1 on its economic integration efforts.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Third ASEAN Telecommunications and IT Ministers Meeting (3rd ASEAN TELMIN)2, themed "ICT: Building a connected and vibrant ASEAN Economic Community", Prime Minister Goh reiterated the key role ICT plays to catalyse the creation of an ASEAN Economic Community, where ASEAN would be a single market and production base, characterised by the free flow of goods, services, investment and skilled labour, and freer flow of capital by year 2020.
Prime Minister Goh urged that efforts to realise the e-ASEAN vision of an inter-connected region that makes comprehensive use of ICT in business, society, and the government, be accelerated. ASEAN countries must embrace ICT, their development and use, if they are to sustain economic growth and remain competitive in the global marketplace.
Prime Minister Goh suggested six focus areas for ASEAN countries: providing access to ICT infrastructure; promoting IT literacy; developing harmonised regulations; building external linkages; embracing technology and ensuring the security and protection of ICT networks.
Advancing Prime Minister Goh's call, Minister Lee urged ASEAN to devise a strategy to not just bridge the digital divide but also to tap the benefits of digital opportunities. He noted that ICT could help stimulate growth, attract investments and enhance the sense of community and connectedness among ASEAN countries.
Minister Lee highlighted the importance of facilitating growth and development, to stay at the forefront of global competition; connecting with stakeholders such as the industry and neighbouring countries; and reaping digital dividends by embracing technology.
Private Sector and Youth Engage Ministers
For the first time at ASEAN TELMIN meetings, Ministers engaged industry leaders and youth from ASEAN universities during their meeting.
The Industry Update3 saw a line-up of key industry panellists discussing issues such as e-Government in the 21st century and the need for policy makers to be more involved in the implementation of e-Government systems, harmonised rules for e-commerce to boost consumer confidence and encourage take-up rate, the challenges of entrepreneurship and innovation for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), opportunities for regional telecommunications, satellite and Internet businesses, making broadband access more affordable for users in ASEAN, and the creation of more ASEAN content. On a whole, industry leaders at the discussion were supportive of the creation of a more integrated ASEAN ICT market for the region to remain competitive.
At a lunch meeting with Ministers, a group of 25 ASEAN youths4 from the Singapore International Foundation (SIF) - ASEAN Student Fellowship presented their perspectives and opinions to Ministers. The topic presented was "ASEAN Youth: Driving the Demand for ICT". The youth highlighted issues such as harmonising ICT education standards across ASEAN; lowering the cost of access to telecommunication and Internet services in ASEAN; the importance of ensuring basic ICT infrastructure and Internet connectivity; and the value of empowering communities and public-private sector collaboration in addressing these issues.
The Singapore Declaration - An Action Agenda
The 3rd ASEAN TELMIN will conclude with a Ministerial Joint Press Conference on 19 September, where the Singapore Declaration - An Action Agenda, detailing the main issues discussed and decisions taken will be issued.
ISSUED BY CORPORATE COMMUNICATION DIVISION
INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
Notes to Editors:
1 The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) consists of Brunei Darussalem, Kingdom of Cambodia, Republic of Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Union of Myanmar, Republic of the Philippines, Republic of Singapore, Kingdom of Thailand and Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
2 The Third ASEAN TELMIN, held at Shangri-La Singapore from 18 to 19 Sep 2003. It was officially opened by Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong. The meeting is chaired by Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Dr Lee Boon Yang. The first and second ASEAN TELMIN meetings were held in Kuala Lumpur (2001) and Manila (2002) respectively. ASEAN TELMIN provides ministerial policy direction for ASEAN cooperation in information and communication technology (ICT).
3 These industry leaders include Mr Michio Naruto, Regional Co-Chair of the Global Business Dialogue (GBDe), Mr Lee Kwok Cheong, CEO of National Computer Systems, Mr Carlos Fernandez, CEO of Perceptive I, Dr Nongluck Phinainitisart, President of Shin Satellite Public Company Limited, Mr Lee Hsien Yang, President & CEO of Singapore Telecoms Pte Ltd and Dato' Baharum Salleh, CEO of TM Net Sdn Bhd, with Mr Seah Chin Siong, Managing Partner of Accenture as moderator for the session.
4 These 25 ASEAN youths are hosted under the Singapore International Foundation (SIF)'s flagship programme, the SIF-ASEAN Student Fellowship. The fellowship was launched in 1992 to engage scholars from all ten ASEAN countries, to develop close ties and promote friendship among students of ASEAN through living and learning together.
About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) develops, promotes and regulates info-communications in Singapore, with the aim of establishing Singapore as one of the world's premier infocomm capitals. To nurture an internationally competitive infocomm industry, IDA offers a comprehensive range of programmes and schemes for both local and international companies. For more information, visit https://www.imda.gov.sg/
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