The 13th ASEAN Telecommunications and IT Ministers Meeting (ASEAN TELMIN 13) opened in Singapore on November 14 with the participation of delegates from all 10 ASEAN member countries and ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh.

The Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Hamadoun Toure, and representatives of ASEAN dialogue partners of Japan, China and the Republic of Korea also attended ASEAN TELMIN 13 opening ceremony.

The Vietnamese delegation to the meeting is headed by Le Nam Thang, Deputy Minister of Communications and Information.

In his opening speech, Dr. Yaacop Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information of Singapore, said “The theme for this year’s TELMIN, Connecting Communities, Co-Creating Possibilities is timely. Beyond the expansion of ICT infrastructure, we also commit to make ICT a key enabler of ASEAN’s socio-economic growth and integration efforts as well as collaborate with our partners to enhance ICT connectivity to benefit our people.”

According to him, this year’s TELMIN will provide a chance for the ASEAN member states to review and take stock of progress in ASEAN Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Master plan (AIM2015).

Delegates will also discuss and explore how ASEAN can further leverage strengths to collectively bring about greater benefits for a prosperous, vibrant and connected ASEAN community.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong stressed that ASEAN should strengthen cooperation in ICT to enhance regional integration and create new opportunities for member economies.

According to the Ministry of Communications and Information and its statutory board - the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the evening of November 14 will see the second ASEAN ICT Awards 2013 ceremony to recognise innovative products and services in ASEAN across six categories namely: Public Sector, Private Sector, Digital Content, Corporate Social Responsibility, Start-up, and Research and Development.

From more than 80 submissions, 18 finalists have been shortlisted. This year’s finalists come from Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.

ASEAN ministers will have working sessions with representatives of dialogue partners including Japan, China and the Republic of Korea and as well as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

ASEAN TELMIN 13 will conclude on November 15 with the issuance of the Singapore Declaration to highlight the key areas that ASEAN would be committing to work upon 2015.-VNA