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Singapore & Brunei Sign Second ASEAN Telecommunications Agreement

Singapore and Brunei have today signed the second ASEAN1 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA) of telecommunications equipment conformity testing. The first MoU was signed by ...

Singapore, 19 May 2004 | For Immediate Release

Telecommunications Equipment Testing to Resultin Lower Costs and Faster Time to Market

Singapore and Brunei have today signed the second ASEAN1 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA) of telecommunications equipment conformity testing. The first MoU was signed by Singapore and Indonesia last month. Signed by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and the Authority for Info-Communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AiTi), the agreement will remove duplicative testing in both countries and reduce the cost and time required to bring telecommunications equipment to market.

Typically, telecommunications equipment needs to be tested to the standards of the receiving country before it can be certified and approved for sale. Under this MoU, Singapore and Brunei will first accept equipment test reports issued by accredited test laboratories recognised by each country. This is known as Phase I of the MRA. Phase II of the MRA will see the mutual acceptance of equipment certification.

The agreement will facilitate telecommunications equipment trade and more frequent exchanges and updates on Singapore's and Brunei's telecommunication regulatory requirements. This in turn, will enhance market access opportunities for telecommunications equipment in both countries. The agreement will also make telecommunications equipment more affordable and accessible to consumers.

It is hoped that with this agreement, businesses will gain faster market entry at reduced costs. When fully implemented, the agreement will save telecommunication equipment companies up to S$500 per model and will help get their products to market up to six weeks earlier.

The MoU arises from the last ASEAN TELMIN 3 Ministerial meeting2 held in Singapore in September 2003. At this meeting, member countries agreed to expedite the implementation of the MRAs for telecommunications equipment conformity testing. The MRAs aim to facilitate ICT trade and investment. The meeting targets Phase I of the MRA to be implemented by 2005.

On the MoU signing today, IDA's Director-General of Telecommunications, Mr. Leong Keng Thai is confident that this second MoU will catalyse the pathfinder effect for the rest of the ASEAN members. "This MRA will forge a strong and enduring partnership between Singapore and Brunei. Being among the first few ASEAN countries to implement the MRA, this agreement signed today will provide a head start to the overall MRA initiative."

The MoU was signed in Bandar Seri Begawan earlier today by Mr. Leong Keng Thai and Brunei's Chief Executive for AiTi, Dato Paduka Buntar Osman.


Notes to Editor:

1 The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) consists of Brunei Darussalam, 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 the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.

2 ASEAN TELMIN is a meeting of ASEAN Ministers handling telecommunications and information technology. The annual meeting seeks to strengthen ties, promote rapport and establish concrete channels of communication and cooperation among ASEAN nations. The meeting also provides policy direction for the e-ASEAN initiative and is an opportunity for ASEAN to form a caucus to influence international ICT developments. In due course, the forum aims to forge closer cooperation with counterparts in the rest of the region and beyond.

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

For media clarification, please contact:

Ms Chia Wan Fen
Manager, Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore