15 November 2015 - The 13th ASEAN Telecommunications and Information Technology (IT) Ministers Meeting (TELMIN) was held in Singapore on 14-15 November 2013.

Singapore, 15 November 2013 | For Immediate Release

The 13th ASEAN Telecommunications and Information Technology (IT) Ministers Meeting (TELMIN) was held in Singapore on 14-15 November 2013. H.E Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, Republic of Singapore, chaired the Meeting. H.E. Group Captain Anudith Nakornthap, Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Kingdom of Thailand, was the Vice-Chairman. On this occasion, the ASEAN Ministers also held separate dialogues with their counterparts from the People's Republic of China, Japan, Republic of Korea, and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

H.E. Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, officiated the 13thTELMIN and its related meetings with Dialogue Partners. In his opening address, Prime Minister Lee highlighted the importance of ICT in supporting ASEAN's community building and economic integration efforts, as well as in creating new opportunities for ASEAN. While ICT has been instrumental in enhancing the economy, it has also posed new challenges, notably, in the area of cyber security. In urging ASEAN Member States to work towards strengthening regional cooperation, Prime Minister Lee suggested three areas for TELMIN to consider going forward, namely, (i) the harmonisation of the 700MHz frequency band for mobile broadband services to be in line with the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) 700MHz Band Plan; (ii) acceleration of the shift from analog to digital television broadcast to free up spectrum capacity for other services such as wireless broadband; and (iii) enhancement of the resilience and protection of submarine communications cable systems. Beyond efforts to align the 700MHz frequency band with the APT 700MHz Band Plan, Prime Minister Lee also urged TELMIN to commence work on harmonising the 800MHz frequency band.

The Ministers expressed their condolences and deepest sympathy to the people of the Philippines who fell victim to the Haiyan Typhoon. The Ministers wished the Philippines a speedy recovery from the disaster.

Connecting Communities – Co-Creating Possibilities

The Ministers commended the senior officials and regulators in charge of telecommunications and IT in the region for the good progress made in the implementation of the ASEAN ICT Masterplan 2015 (AIM2015), and agreed to further intensify the cooperation to complete the AIM2015 in order to contribute to the establishment of the ASEAN Community by 2015.

The Ministers agreed to further strengthen regional digital inclusion efforts to increase ICT adoption particularly in the rural areas, and enable all ASEAN citizens to have equal opportunity to take part in the development process. This could be done through the rollout of national broadband networks, improvements to national Universal Service Obligations (USOs) and collaboration with relevant sectors such as education. The Ministers also noted the importance of fostering an environment that promotes competition in the private sector which will in turn benefit ASEAN citizens.

The Ministers supported the innovative utilisation of radio frequency in ASEAN to further enhance ICT connectivity through the continued formulation of enabling policies and regional cooperation, and intensifying cooperation for greater harmonisation of the digital dividend spectrum within ASEAN, including the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity 700Mhz band plan for the deployment of mobile broadband services.

The Ministers encouraged information exchange and best practice sharing amongst ICT professionals in the region through platforms such as, but not limited to, the ASEAN CIO (Chief Information Officers) Forum and ASEAN ICT Award.

The Ministers supported the continual development of human capital to create a competent ICT workforce in ASEAN through the continued development of ICT skills standards and certification, information sharing between ASEAN Centres of Excellence (COEs), as well as capacity building and scholarship programmes.

The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of building confidence and trust in network and information security in order to further promote trade and investments, including through the activities of the ASEAN Network Security Action Council (ANSAC), through collaboration with governments and submarine cable industry in raising awareness of the importance of submarine cables to regional and global connectivity, the resilience of submarine cables from man-made and natural disasters, as well as in ensuring that damaged or cut cables are expeditiously repaired.

The Ministers adopted the Singapore Declaration, entitled "Connecting Communities, Co-creating Possibilities", to reiterate ASEAN's commitments to promote ICT-driven economic transformation through people engagement, empowerment and innovation that are built on infrastructure development, human capital development, and bridging the Digital Divide efforts. It maps out the priority actions in the implementation of the AIM 2015, acknowledging that ICT is an enabler for ASEAN economic and social development and integration.

The Ministers also agreed to prioritise the development of a new post-2015 ASEAN ICT Masterplan to ensure continuity and provide a stable, conducive environment for businesses and communities to flourish. In this regard, the Ministers tasked the Senior Officials to commence planning and development of the next ASEAN ICT Masterplan for the period of 2016 – 2020.

ICT Cooperation with Dialogue and Development Partners

The Ministers expressed their appreciation to China, Japan, Republic of Korea, European Union (EU), and International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for the successful implementation of their respective annual ICT work plans and joint activities with ASEAN in 2013.

The Ministers expressed their appreciation to China for successfully organizing a series of cooperation activities in the areas of ICT for upgrading the traditional industries, e-government public platforms, internet resource administration, cross-border mutual recognition of electronic signatures, and network security.

The Ministers welcomed the new Memorandum of Understanding between ASEAN and the People's Republic of China on ICT Cooperation which strengthens further the ASEAN-China ICT cooperative partnership.

The Ministers welcomed the 2014 Work Plan proposed by China in the areas of policy and experiences exchanges, leveraging new technologies and applications of broadband communication for socio-economic development, applying IoT (Internet of Things) technologies to "smart city" solutions, network and data security, network convergence and interconnectivity, and participation of experts of China in the relevant cooperative activities organized by ASEAN. The Ministers expressed their appreciation to China for its initiative to sponsor 500 ASEAN officials and experts during the period of 2014-2018 for attending training programs and workshops to be organized in China.

The Ministers expressed their appreciation to Japan for her assistance in a number of areas of cooperation including information security, human capacity development, and development of ICT-based services under the ASEAN-Japan ICT Work Plan for 2013-2014. The Ministers endorsed Japan's proposal for mutual cooperation in the field of ICT as the "ASEAN Smart Network Initiative". The ASEAN Ministers also expressed their sincere thanks to Japan for the additional contribution of USD 300,000 to the ASEAN-Japan ICT Cooperation Fund.

The Ministers of ASEAN and Japan recognised that the "ASEAN-Japan Collaboration Framework on Information Security" is progressing well and agreed to implement the outcome of the ASEAN-Japan Ministerial Policy Meeting on Cyber Security Cooperation that was held in Tokyo in September 2013, which includes the need to create secure business environment, build secure information and communication networks, and enhance capacity for cybersecurity.

The Ministers expressed their appreciation to the Republic of Korea for having successfully implemented a series of cooperation activities with ASEAN in ICT development, especially through policy consultation, human resources development as well as workshops since 2002. The ASEAN Ministers also expressed their sincere thanks to the Republic of Korea on the Korea-ASEAN ICT Partnership Project (2012-2016) that has been in progress, focusing on priority areas such as ICT infrastructure enhancement, new technology and services, capacity building and ICT knowledge sharing, as well as cooperation with international organizations.

The Ministers welcomed Republic of Korea's efforts for the provision of a guideline for the development of mobile applications on smart phones, having recognized the importance of reaching an era of mobile communications through smart ICT devices. The ASEAN Ministers endorsed Republic of Korea's proposal for future cooperation on ICT development through international organizations, including the establishment of information superhighway in collaboration with UN ESCAP as well as training programs via UN APCICT.

The Ministers noted that the "Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (READI)" Facility is well on track to intensify interaction between EU and ASEAN on ICT, amongst others, implementing priority projects of the AIM 2015 and supporting ASEAN in the development of transparent and coherent and harmonised ICT regulatory frameworks, in particular on spectrum management and broadband development.

The Ministers expressed their appreciation to ITU for the assistance in telecommunications/ICT policy, legal and regulatory environment in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar (CLM); the initiatives on submarine cable protection, national statistics portal and policy and strategic framework on "Universal Service Obligation Policy for facilitating the provision of broadband to every school" in ASEAN; as well as other various activities, projects, trainings and direct country actions in individual ASEAN Member States as the areas of cooperation agreed on the MOU between ASEAN and ITU. The Ministers also confirmed their full support for the success of ITU Connect Asia-Pacific Summit 2013, while ITU, in response, reiterated its continued support and cooperation to ASEAN and its individual member countries.

The Ministers emphasised that ASEAN is not only open to policy and regulatory dialogue but also for greater interaction with dialogue and development partners. The Ministers also called for greater private sector participation to jointly develop ASEAN's competitive edge through quality ICT infrastructure and skill-based workforce which will contribute to the realisation of the ASEAN Community by 2015.

Next Meeting

The Ministers agreed to convene the 14th ASEAN Telecommunications and IT Ministers Meeting and its Meetings with Dialogue and Development Partners in Thailand in 2014.

The Ministers expressed appreciation to the Government and the people of the Republic of Singapore for their warm hospitality accorded to them and for the excellent arrangements made for the 13th TELMIN and its related Meetings.

List of Ministers

  1. H.E. Pehin Dato Abdullah Bakar, Minister of Communications of Brunei Darussalam;
  2. H.E. Prak Sokhonn, Minister of Posts and Telecommunications of Cambodia;
  3. H.E. DR. Basuki Yusuf Iskandar, Secretary-General of Ministry of Communication and Information Technology of Indonesia;
  4. H.E. Hiem Phommachanh, Minister of Posts and Telecommunications of Lao PDR;
  5. H.E. Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Minister of Communications and Multimedia of Malaysia;
  6. H.E. U Myat Hein, Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology of Myanmar;
  7. H.E. Louis Napoleon C. Casambre, Undersecretary of the Department of Science and Technology of the Philippines;
  8. H.E. Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information of Singapore;
  9. H.E. Group Captain Anudith Nakornthap, Minister of Information and Communication Technology of Thailand;
  10. H.E. Le Nam Thang, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications of Viet Nam;
  11. H.E. MIAO Wei, Minister of Industry and Information Technology of People’s Republic of China;
  12. H.E. Masahiro YOSHIZAKI, Vice-Minister for Policy Coordination (International Affairs), Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan; 
  13. H.E. Jae-You CHOI, Assistant Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning of the Republic of Korea;
  14. H.E. Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN.

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