ICT Ministers from the 21 APEC members have unveiled a five-year action plan to maximize the potential of the internet to drive growth in Asia-Pacific.
The plan was endorsed at the conclusion of a two-day meeting of Ministers in Kuala Lumpur and outlines implementation measures in five priority areas: ICT innovation, secure and trusted ICT environment, regional economic integration, digital economy and the internet economy, and cooperation.
To support the implementation process, Ministers directed telecommunications and IT officials to deepen policy cooperation within a new ad hoc APEC Steering Group on the Internet Economy.
“We can’t predict what is going to happen next on the innovation front,” explained Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Malaysia’s Minister of Communications and Multimedia and Chair of the APEC Telecommunications and Information Ministerial Meeting.
“The plan we are taking forward will guide industry policies in the Asia-Pacific in a way that unlocks growth and improves people’s lives yet is sufficiently flexible to navigate inevitable shifts in the technological landscape.”
Dr. Alan Bollard, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat, said the ministers are going further to build more ICT infrastructure and get faster broadband within Asia-Pacific economies.
“Ultimately, it comes down to facilitating access, promoting adoption, improving security and fostering value creation through ICT,” he said, adding that an important part of the equation is figuring out standards and regulation that governments can buy into and ensuring that they fit together across the region to create a more growth-enabling environment over the long-term.