The National, Wednesday August 08th, 2012
THE development of stronger, more integrated digital economies in the Asia-Pacific region will be the focus of the Apec ministerial meeting on telecommunications and information (TEL) that began yesterday in St Petersburg, Russia.
Apec ministers will consider actions and proposals put forward by Apec senior telecommunications officials who concluded their strategic and technical meeting here on Monday.
The goal is to advance practical policies that improve confidence in information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure across Apec economies.
The advancement of joint initiatives designed to promote greater information and communications ICT inclusiveness and security will be among the issues on APEC ministers’ agenda.
“Widespread access and use of ICT such as broadband infrastructure and applications remains a crucial driver of regional economic integration and can furthermore improve trade opportunities and supply-chains,” Andrey Mukhanov, chair of the Apec senior telecommunications officials’ meeting, said.
“Apec economies continue to work together, in coordination with key industry stakeholders, to reduce barriers to information flows, bridge the digital divide and create a safer, more trusted ICT environment.”
In 2010, Apec economies reported that they had achieved the goal of universal internet access throughout the region.
Two of their concrete targets now are to achieve universal broadband access by 2015 and access to the next generation of high-speed broadband networks and services by 2020.
Apec telecommunications and information ministers will assess ways to build on the progress made this year to promote the sharing of regulatory frameworks and best practices between member economies.
This includes harmonising regional industry development in areas such as data and network integrity, and ICT user privacy.