KUALA LUMPUR – There is a need to enhance strategies to allow Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies and citizens to tap into the commercial opportunities that can be gained through the use of broadband.
In stating this, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said this could only happen through consistent and sufficient investment into the information communication technology (ICT) sector.
“Pushing for high broadband penetration rates is no longer sufficient, should access to the Internet be mainly for social reasons,” he said.
Shabery said this when opening the APEC’s 10th Telecommunication and Information Ministerial Meeting (APEC TELMIN) here today.
He said to effectively tap into opportunities within APEC, more had to be done to open up individual markets and, according to him, ICT would drive this.
Shabery pointed out that regulatory and governance reforms were important to ensure that the right enabling environment was created and maintained to spur growth of the digital ecosystems.
“A forward thinking and facilitative regulatory framework is key to maintaining continues growth of the ICT sector,” he said.
The minister stressed that it was important that all efforts in improving ICT infrastructure would yield tangible results.
“To the highest degree, we should continue utilising and leveraging upon ICT as a catalyst to drive economic growth within APEC,” he said, adding that the move should enable benefits of connectivity to be reaped and improve people’s lives.
Increasing trade within APEC was testament to all the liberalisation efforts which had taken place in the last decade, he said, pointing out that this could certainly be said for the ICT industry.
“In my opinion, APEC is synonymous with liberalisation, and ICT is the driving force for this to happen,” said Shabery.
He also touched on the scale of cyber threats and attacks which had surfaced in recent times, which called for security in cyber environment to be made an ongoing and holistic affair towards guaranteeing connectivity and protect communication.
“We must continue to create a positive and trusted cyber environment where the flow of data and confidentiality of transactions are protected.”
Shabery, meanwhile, was hopeful that deliberations by delegates on the APEC TEL Strategic Action Plan 2016-2020 would have significant impact on the work of many other sectors in APEC. – BERNAMA