The ASEAN Ministers responsible for Telecommunications and Information Technology, gathered in Brunei Darussalam from 18 – 19 September 2006, for the Sixth ASEAN Telecommunications and IT Ministers Meeting,

UPHOLDING the ASEAN Leaders’ focus in promoting development, economic integration and growth and narrowing the development gap, through technology transfer, infrastructure development, capacity building, good governance, and trade and investment expansion;

NOTING the 11th ASEAN Summit’s target date for the realisation of the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015;

RECOGNISING the Tunis Commitment in our desire and commitment to build a people-centered, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society, so that people everywhere can create, access, utilise and share information and knowledge, to achieve their full potential and to attain the internationally agreed development goals and objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals;

RECALLING the Ministerial Understanding on ASEAN Cooperation in Telecommunications and Information Technology concluded at the First TELMIN in Kuala Lumpur in 2001 which sets out the institutional working mechanism of ASEAN TELMIN, TELSOM and TELSOM Working Groups as well as the objectives on ASEAN cooperation in telecommunications and information technology;

RECALLING ALSO the on-going efforts of TELSOM in carrying out the subsequent instructions contained in the TELMIN Manila Declaration 2002, Singapore Declaration 2003 and Ha Noi Agenda 2005;

EMBRACING the goals, strategic thrusts and measures as stated in the ASEAN ICT Focus 2005-2010;

ENCOURAGING new initiatives from ASEAN Member Countries and Dialogue Partners in promoting the ICT competitiveness of the region;

ACKNOWLEDGING the contributions of ASEAN Member Countries to the ASEAN ICT Fund starting this year to support the ASEAN ICT Work Programmes;

ACKNOWLEDGING the work of the four Working Groups of TELSOM; namely ASEAN Information Infrastructure (AII), e-Commerce and ICT Trade Facilitation (EC&ITF), e-Society and ICT Capacity Building (ES&ICB) and Universal Access, Digital Divide and e-Government (UADD&e-Gov’t), as well as the ASEAN Telecommunication Regulators’ Council (ATRC), which are the vital pillars of TELMIN’s work mandate to realise ASEAN’s ICT vision and goals;

NOTING with satisfaction the ATRC’s initiatives on expansion of the scope of the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) to cover a greater number of telecommunication equipment traded in the ASEAN region as well as the development of best practice guidelines on competition and public consultation processes;

WE HEREBY AGREE TO THIS PLAN OF ACTION:

1. Build ASEAN capacity, which is a vital component in enhancing ICT competitiveness, by:

(a) Intensifying capacity building and training programmes to facilitate cross border electronic transactions and the use of electronic signatures, with the continued support of Dialogue Partners and other international organisations;

(b) Enhancing capacity building activities to support the development of e-readiness and ICT masterplans of ASEAN Member Countries by 2008;

(c) Pursuing the development of ASEAN professional ICT skills standards through knowledge sharing of best practises on various national ICT skills standards and certification mechanism;
(d) Intensifying capacity building and training programmes for national Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs);

(e) Supporting local content development to increase ICT usage at all levels of society in 2007; and

(f) Promoting the widespread use of ICT as a tool to boost capacity building in respective ASEAN Member Countries, across all genders and segments of society, including homeworkers, beginning 2007.

2. Develop the ASEAN Information Infrastructure as the foundation for the sustainable development of an information society by:

(a) Strengthening the region’s cyber-security network by expanding the ASEAN CERT Incident Drills to include ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners in 2007; and

(b) Deepening policy and regulatory cooperation in 2007 to deal with the opportunities and challenges in the area of Next Generation Networks, including convergence issues and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

3. Achieve broader economic and social benefits through wider access to ICT by:

(a) Exploring open standards and open source technologies to increase ICT access and interoperability;

(b) Facilitating affordable universal access and connectivity through using new technology, for example, wireless broadband, particularly for rural and remote communities;

(c) Promoting ASEAN-wide online services through the development of local and ASEAN content, and the delivery of government, social and commercial services through the internet; and

(d) Facilitating the development of ASEAN research and education networks beginning 2007.

4. Facilitate ICT trade and electronic commerce by addressing non-tariff barriers to trade, as well as to lay the policy and legal infrastructure for electronic commerce by:

(a) Welcoming more participation in the ASEAN MRA on telecom equipment, taking into account the recently expanded scope of the ASEAN MRA;

(b) Sharing best practices in implementing telecommunications competition policies;

(c) Fostering the preparation of domestic legislation in all ASEAN Members to enable e-Commerce transactions;

(d) Facilitating mutual recognition of digital signatures to enable cross border transactions in ASEAN; and

(e) Establishing a networking forum between ASEAN’s and Dialogue Partners’ businesses as a platform to promote trade and investment.

5. Exchange information on, and where appropriate harmonise, policies and regulations to increase ASEAN’s ICT competitiveness and welcoming the implementation of the ATRC 2006 – 2007 workplan, particularly in the areas of:

(a) Mobile Number Portability and International Mobile Roaming Charges;

(b) Wireless Broadband deployment, including in rural areas; and

(c) Prepaid SIM Card Registration.

6. Engage the private sector and youths by:

(a) Strengthening cooperation with e-ASEAN Business Council (e-ABC) by facilitating high-level strategic dialogues between ASEANICT communities and  TELMIN;

(b) Encouraging the e-ABC to play a leading role in promoting ASEAN as an attractive region for ICT investment; and
 
(c) Working with institutes of higher learning to establish a dedicated forum for ASEAN youths to address their ICT capacity building needs in areas such as applications software development, digital content development, and e-learning beginning 2007.

7. Forge links with strategic partners and key ICT international organisations to pool our resources and expertise by:

(a) Deepening cooperative activities with Dialogue Partners, in particular China, the European Commission, India, Japan and Korea, particularly in the areas of ICT technology such as broadband, RFID, content development, standards, Internet exchanges, emerging new technologies, telecom network security and ICT infrastructure, and in information exchange of knowledge and best practices; and

(b) Continuing the engagement of international organisations like the ITU and APT through regular dialogues, and collaborative projects, particularly in the areas of capacity building, especially in human resource development.

8. Strengthen our institutional foundations to achieve the programs elaborated above, by:

(a) Commencing the use of the ASEAN ICT Fund to initiate key ICT projects in 2007, and to call upon our strategic partners to commit similar resources to these projects;

(b) Ensuring effective and efficient utilisation of the ASEAN ICT Fund for projects of mutual benefit to all ASEAN countries;

(c) Setting up of the ASEAN ICT Centre (AICTC) by 31 March 2007 to manage and administer the ASEAN ICT Work Programme; and

(d) Encouraging the establishment of Centres of ICT Excellence in respective ASEAN Member Countries that could serve as test beds or proof of concept for new ICT technologies, applications and services beginning 2007.

9. To enhance ICT competitiveness and to realise the above Plan of Action, the ASEAN ICT Priority Projects, as per attached ANNEX A, shall be implemented in 2007.

Adopted at the Sixth ASEAN Telecommunications and IT Ministers Meeting (TELMIN), 19 September 2006, Brunei Darussalam.
 
ANNEX A

ASEAN ICT PRIORITY PROJECTS
FOR IMPLEMENTATION IN 2007

ASEAN INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE

1. Engaging ASEAN Dialogue Partners in ASEAN Computer Emergency Response Teams Incidence Drills (ACID II);
2. Training Workshop on Open Document Format (ODF);
3. Capacity Building Training on the Establishment of CERT for Lao PDR and Cambodia;

E-COMMERCE AND ICT TRADE FACILITATION

4. ASEAN ICT e-Mall to Facilitate ICT Trading;

E-SOCIETY AND ICT CAPACITY BUILDING

5. Use of ICTs to Empower Homeworkers in ASEAN Countries;
6. ASEAN Workshop on Public Domain and Content Development;
7. E-Learning: e-Culture / e-Heritage for Youth;
8. ASEAN ICT Skills Standards Development;

UNIVERSAL ACCESS, DIGITAL DIVIDE AND E-GOVERNMENT

9. Engage ASEAN Dialogue Partners in IPv6 Capacity Building Initiatives;
10. Developing a Framework for a Research and Education Network (REN); and
11. Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) Distribution Kiosks.

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