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Speech by Permanent Secretary Ministry of Communications, Haji Azhar bin Haji Ahmad at the Opening of the ASEAN IVO Forum, Thursday 23rd November 2017, The Radisson Hotel


23RD NOVEMBER 2017  


8:45 AM 


Bismillahir Rahmaanir Rahim.
Alhamdullilahi Rabbil `Alameen Wasaalatu Wassalaamu `Ala Asyrafil Ambiae Walmursaleen, Saidina Muhammadin Wa'alaa Aalihi Wasahbihi Ajama'een.

His Excellency Motohiko Kato (Ambassador of Japan to
Brunei Darussalam)

Professor  Dr.  Hjh.  Zohrah  binti  Hj  Sulaiman  (Vice- Chancellor, Universiti Teknologi Brunei)

Dr. Hideyuki Tokuda (President, NICT)

Dr. Fumihiko Tomita (Vice-President NICT)

Professor  Dr  Zuruzi  bin  Abu  Samah  (Assistant  Vice- Chancellor for Research, Universiti Teknologi Brunei)

Mr Katsuhiko Kobayashi (Senior Vice-President, NES) Distinguished speakers and guests,

Ladies and gentlemen. 
Assalamu’alaikum  Warahmatullahi  Wabarakatuh  and a very good morning to all.

1. First and foremost, I wish to extend my sincere appreciation  to Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) for  the  kind  invitation  to  attend  this  morning’s event as the Guest of Honour.

2. I wish to also extend a very warm welcome to all speakers  and  participants  to  this  ASEAN  IVO Forum. I hope that the information shared, learned and obtained will be useful for all of us as we strive to continuously formulate policies and coordinate activities for our mutual benefit.

3. Towards  this,  the  forum  this  year  shall  discuss aspects  along  the  lines  of smart  applications  in agriculture,  tourism,  smart  society  and environment protection, all intended to contribute to national development. 

4. Aligned to this, the Ministry of Communications and related stakeholders collaborate and strive to achieve a Smart Nation through well-educated and highly skilled people, an improved quality of life and a dynamic and sustainable economy. Therefore, a connected and innovative community, enabled by technological  ICT advancements  and data-driven service delivery,  is an integral part of our drive towards this goal.

5. As stated in the Titah of His Majesty Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan on 18th February 2017 at the First Retreat of the Special ASEAN-US  Summit in California,  emphasizes  the importance of stronger cooperation to promote innovation and the digital economy, key strategies to spur economic growth which is also one of the key priorities  in  ASEAN’s  Vision  2025  towards elevating the region up the global value chain. In acknowledging  that  technological  advancements are aimed towards developing industries in terms of long-term competitiveness  which contribute to economic  diversification,  thus it is important  for Asean to continue addressing challenges facing the 
global economy, amongst them, cyber security and the growth of new opportunities to exploit potential security vulnerabilities.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

6. Brunei Darussalam has observed a significant rise of data usage and demand internally and globally over the years. According to the Ericsson Mobiliy Report 2017:
 a. Mobile subscriptions worldwide in 2016 were 7.5 billion and  is estimated to increase to 9 billion in 2022. Brunei Darussalam currently already has a mobile penetration of 120%.

b. The  worldwide  data  traffic  per  smartphone was  2.1GB  in  2016  and  is  estimated  to increase by 12GB in 2020

c. This   means   the   approximate   worldwide mobile data traffic in 2016 was 8.8EB (Exabytes) and is expected to grow to 71EB in 2022. 

7. Therefore, telecoms operators, not just in Brunei Darussalam,   are   thus   aggressively   promoting better data packages instead of the normal voice calls   we   are   so  used   to.   The   potential   for applications    and    uses    for    Big    Data    are endless. There is an ever increasing array of equipment   such   as   vehicles,   public transportation and home appliances equipped with digital technology,  GPS, sensors, detectors, data storage and connectivity. The key is thus to find a way to be able to analyse, value add and repackage the information we collect in order to discover the relationships among those variables and deliver a product or service that is more citizen-centric than ever before.

8. Brunei Darussalam is also hoping to see local app developers and solutions providers coming up with new and innovative applications to leverage on the power of analytical platforms and solutions and add value to the data available to them. 

9. With the advent of these current ICT technological advancements connecting more people worldwide, we still  need  to  continuously  ensure  effective implementation of smart nation initiatives and overcome  rural  disconnectivity.     Towards  this, there is thus a need to invest in the sustainable development and deployment of ICT infrastructure especially in the affected areas. For further protection, the issue of cyber security challenges and the improved security of our data should be a serious consideration.

10. Thus   the  Ministry   of  Communications’   efforts towards  ensuring  a  Smart  Nation  where connectivity is key,   the incorporation of the ICT element via an Intelligent Transport System for all is justified. Similarly, other relevant agencies will have  their  own  contributions   and  this  forum provides one platform for sharing those initiatives. 

11. Once again, before I end my speech,  I wish to thank UTB for kindly inviting me today and wishing you the best in your fruitful deliberations.

12. With the kalimah Bismillahirrahmanirrahim,  I am pleased  to declare  the  ASEAN  IVO  Forum  2017 officially opened Thank you. Wabillahi Taufik walhidayah Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

Created at 27/11/2017 12:09 by Dk Dewi Najayati Pengiran Hj Shahrir
Last modified at 04/12/2017 12:14 by Dk Noorismawarni Binti Pg Hj Ismail