Enhancing ICT Competitiveness: Capacity Building

1. The ASEAN Telecommunications & IT Ministers Meeting (TELMIN) + 1 with ASEAN Dialogue Partners, China, Japan,  Korea and India were held on 19 September 2006 in Brunei Darussalam, preceded by the TELSOM + 1 on 15-16 September 2006.

2.  H.E. Pehin Abu Bakar Apong, Minister of Communications for Brunei Darussalam, chaired the TELMIN + 1 Sessions with ASEAN Dialogue Partners. ICT Ministers from ASEAN Member Countries, China, Japan, Korea, India, and the Secretary-General of ASEAN were present.

3. In the TELMIN + 1 Sessions, Ministers discussed regional and international developments in the ICT sector, and in particular, on the practical and strategic actions to foster collective and enduring cooperation in the ICT sector.

4. ASEAN Ministers welcomed the continued assistance by the Dialogue Partners in the timely integration of ICT sector to support ASEAN’s vision of an economic community. Technical experts/officials from the above Dialogue Partner Countries shall be invited to participate in the meetings of the TELSOM Working Groups, to work on and hone synergistic and innovative approaches for joint programmes and initiatives.
 
China

5. H.E. Mr. Xi Guohua, Vice-Minister for Information Industry of China, co-chaired the 1st TELMIN + China. Ministers expressed satisfaction on the notable achievements under the ASEAN-China Workplan 2006. China participated in the 1st ASEAN-China roundtable on exchange of information on regulatory regimes.  The ASEAN-China Information Superhighway Working Group has been established to guide the project feasibility study stage, and plan and steer project implementation in the future. China will continue to cooperate with ASEAN in 2007 covering, among others, pilot project for rural communications and universal service, advancing joint network security activities, and human resource development.

6. Ministers agreed to finalise the Plan of Action to Implement Beijing Declaration on ASEAN-China ICT Cooperative Partnership for Common Development, for signing on the occasion of the 12th ASEAN Summit in Cebu, the Philippines in December 2006. The Plan of Action covers specific and collective initiatives in the following cooperation areas: Information Infrastructure, Universal Service, Network and Information Security, Trade and Investment Facilitation, and Human Resource Development.

Japan

7. H.E. Mr. Kan’ichiro Aritomi, Vice Minister for Policy Coordination, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, co-chaired the 1st TELMIN + Japan. Ministers noted with appreciation the achievements such as cooperation in network infrastructure development, human resource development, R&D and policy dialogues in the ICT field based on the “Asia Broadband Program” since 2003. The program was revised in August 2006 with emphasis on IPv6, Next Generation Network (NGN) and broadband wireless network.

8. Ministers agreed to intensify cooperation with focus on: a) development of telecommunications infrastructure such as wireless technologies; b) Human Resource Development; c) promoting information awareness and project cooperation on Japanese and other R&D activities; and d) alliances in the standardization and diffusion of NGN. ASEAN Ministers welcomed Japan’s new projects for 2007 covering the preparation of e-Government Workshop (in association with the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity), e-Learning seminar and Technology Assessment Study for Universal Service Obligation (USO). Ministers agreed that ASEAN and Japan can share experiences and complement each others’ advantages and strengths for mutual benefit.

Korea

9. H.E. Mr. Young Hwan Yoo, Vice Minister of Information and Communication, co-chaired the 1st TELMIN + Korea. Ministers lauded the successful completion of the “Special Project for Bridging the Digital Divide in East Asia” since 2002 which provided significant benefit to ASEAN Member Countries in ICT policy and technology consultations, establishment of Internet Access Centers (in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, the Philippines and Viet Nam), ICT research cooperation and international ICT fora and exchanges.

10. ASEAN Ministers welcomed Korea’s commitment to share experiences and ICT strategies for mutual prosperity of East Asia and in strengthening support of the ASEAN ICT Focus 2005-2010. Ministers looked forward to the expeditious implementation of the new project – “ICT Cooperation towards Co-Prosperity in East Asia 2007-2011” which aims to enhance the ICT industry and address digital divide in four key areas: Consultation on ICT Policy and Information Infrastructure, Human Resources Development in ICT, and Reducing Digital Divide, Dispatch of Korean Expert Groups, and Establishment of the ASEAN-Korea u-ICT Forum.

India

11. H.E. Dr. Shakeel Ahmad, Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology, co-chaired the Second TELMIN + India. Ministers noted with appreciation the developments in the ASEAN-India ICT cooperation for the last one year, in the capacity building of ASEAN ICT professionals in information security, e-learning and e-learning technologies and in assistive technologies for visually impaired people.

12. Ministers looked forward to the timely implementation of two priority projects in 2007; the E-Network Project which will provide high quality educational and health services to the CLMV countries through a tele-education and tele-medicine satellite-based network; and convening of the India-ASEAN IT Ministerial and Industry Forums to bring together ICT industries for business and trade networking and alliance. India will also assist ASEAN in building ASEAN’s capacity in rural communications and in strengthening ICT policy and regulatory frameworks.

Next TELMIN + 1 Meetings

ICT Ministers from ASEAN and Dialogue Partners will meet in Cambodia in 2007.

LIST OF MINISTERS

1. H. E. Pehin Abu Bakar Apong, Minister of Communications,  Brunei Darussalam;
2. H. E. Dr. Sean Bun Chin, Secretary of State, Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, Cambodia;
3. H.E. Mr. Xi Guohua, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Information Industry, China;
4. H.E. Dr. Shakeel Ahmad, Minister of State for Communications and IT, Ministry of Communications and IT, India;
5. H.E. Dr. Sofyan A. Djalil, Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Indonesia;
6. H.E. Mr. Kan’ichiro Aritomi, Vice Minister for Policy Coordination, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan;
7. H.E. Mr. Young Hwan Yoo, Vice Minister of Information and Communication, Republic of  Korea;
8. H.E. Mr. Sommad Pholsena, Minister of Communication, Transport, Post and Construction, Lao PDR;
9. H.E. Dato’ Seri Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, Minister of Energy, Water and Communications, Malaysia;
10. H.E. Brig. Gen. Thein Zaw, Minister of Communications, Posts and Telegraphs, Myanmar;
11. H.E. Mr. Ramon P. Sales, Chairman (Secretary),  Commission on Information and Communications Technology, Philippines;
12. H.E. Dr. Lee Boon Yang, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Singapore;
13. H.E. Mr. Kanawat Wasinsungworn, Vice Minister, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Thailand;
14. H.E. Mr. Le Nam Thang, Vice Minister, Ministry of Posts and Telematics, Viet Nam; and
15. H.E. Mr. Ong Keng Yong, Secretary-General of ASEAN.

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