15 November 2013 - Opening Remarks by Minister for Information and Communications, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim at the 13th ASEAN TELMIN Media Conference, on 15 November 2013, 4pm, Raffles City Convention Centre, Padang Room
Opening Remarks by Minister for Information and Communications, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim at the 13th ASEAN TELMIN Media Conference, on 15 November 2013, 4pm, Raffles City Convention Centre, Padang Room
1. Good afternoon all delegates, the media. Welcome to the 13th ASEAN Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers Meeting ("TELMIN") Media Conference.
2. The 13th ASEAN TELMIN has been a successful meeting for ASEAN where we agreed on further measures to strengthen regional cooperation on ICT. In this regard, I would like to thank all the Ministers for their countries' excellent contributions and commitment to this meeting.
3. There are two key highlights of our meeting. First, we have completed the Mid-Term Review of the ASEAN ICT Masterplan 2015 or AIM2015. The AIM2015 is a key guiding document to enhance regional ICT cooperation and to make ICT a key engine of growth and enabler of regional economic integration. At this mid-point, two-thirds of the AIM2015 has been completed and we are well on track to implement AIM2015 by the 2015 deadline.
4. There have been many success stories of AIM2015 which will have positive and long lasting impact for ASEAN. I would like to take this opportunity to highlight some success stories in three areas.
5. First, is the strengthening of ICT connectivity to bridge the digital divide, which is a key focus of AIM2015. In this respect, we have undertaken a number of initiatives, such as the ASEAN Broadband Corridor to develop strategies that will holistically level up broadband connectivity in all ASEAN countries. We have also reviewed the Universal Service Obligations (USO) policies in ASEAN countries to help facilitate broadband access, especially to schools and rural communities in ASEAN. There is also notable progress in the area of spectrum harmonisation. Specifically, the Ministers have agreed to support the innovative use of radio frequency to further enhance ICT connectivity. We have also agreed to intensify cooperation for greater harmonisation of the digital dividend spectrum within ASEAN, including the APT 700 MHz band plan for the deployment of mobile broadband services. These initiatives, we believe, will help reduce the digital divide in ASEAN and improve the quality of life for our people.
6. Second, is ICT involvement and public education on the positive use of ICT. One of the key initiatives is the ASEAN Cyberkids Camp which Malaysia had organised annually for the last few years since 2008. Secondary school students from 10 ASEAN countries will participate in a week-long camp that will be held from 25 November this year. Besides learning valuable ICT skills such as the safe use of Internet and cyber security that will help them in their education, future workplace and daily lives, our students will also be able to develop a deeper appreciation of one another's culture.
7. The Ministers are also committed to creating a competent ASEAN ICT workforce. We will support the continual development of ICT skills standards and certification, information sharing between ASEAN Centres of Excellence (COEs) as well as capacity building and scholarship programmes.
8. Third, is the recognition of innovation and excellence in ICT. The number of indigenous ICT companies in ASEAN is growing and it is timely for ASEAN to recognise these companies for their innovation and excellence in ICT. Last evening, we held the ASEAN ICT Awards. We hope the Awards would spur ASEAN companies to continue innovating and become global companies that will do ASEAN proud.
9. Besides the Mid-term Review of AIM2015, the second key highlight of the 13th ASEAN TELMIN is the Singapore Declaration. It is a statement of intent for TELMIN to continue the strong implementation of the AIM2015, to focus our efforts on common issues of interests, and to start the development of a post-2015 ICT vision for ASEAN. It is our hope that the Declaration will help provide a strong base of ICT cooperation in ASEAN.
10. ASEAN has close collaborations with our dialogue partners including China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India and the International Telecommunication Union in numerous initiatives including e-government, ICT human resource capability development, information and network security, spectrum management, and development of innovative technologies. ASEAN is appreciative of the partnership with our dialogue partners and hope to forge closer collaborations and deepen our relationships to bring about greater benefits to improve the lives of our people.