Text size :
The Honourable Dato Abdul Mutalib Yusof
Minister of Transport and Infocommunications, Brunei Darussalam
for the Opening Ceremony for ASEAN-China Year of Digital Economy
Friday, 12th June 2020, 2;30pm
Theme: “Combatting COVID-19 through Joint Efforts, Embracing
Cooperation through ICT and Digital Development”
Your Excellency Dr. Thansamay Kommasith,
Minister of Posts and Telecommunication, Lao PDR,
Chair of ASEAN Digital Ministers Meeting (ADGMIN)
Your Excellency Miao Wei,
Minister of Industry and Information Technology, People’s Republic of China
Your Excellency ASEAN Digital Ministers, Your Excellency Dato Lim Jock Hoi,
Secretary General of ASEAN, Senior Officials from ASEAN and China.
1. It is a privilege to join Excellencies and colleagues to this virtual
Opening Ceremony for the ASEAN-China Year of Digital Economy
2. The outbreak of COVID-19 confronted us with domino effects across
various socio-economic activities. However, it has also in some ways,
become a catalyst for digital transformation. In line with the theme
‘Combatting COVID-19 through Joint Efforts, Embracing Cooperation through
ICT and Digital Development’, I would like to share how digital initiatives at our
national level, have become one of the key drivers in our efforts to address the
challenges of COVID-19.
3. On 25th March 2020, Brunei Darussalam through the Ministry of Health
launched an Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered web application, called the
BruHealth, as a key tool to combat COVID-19. The application enables a realtime dashboard to quickly analyze population health conditions and emerging
hotspots, serves as the source of verified information and platform for online
self-screening tool. At the same time, the Government has also introduced
FINAL AS DELIVERED: 12 JUNE 2020
Social media platforms to serve as public channels for official news and
information related to COVID-19.
4. A surge in usage for Online services both by the public and private
sectors, including online learning and online commerce has also become the
new normal in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak. Powered collaboratively
by Government agencies and the Telcos, Brunei Darussalam has generally
seen a significant increase in digital or online usage by educators, students,
buyers, sellers and the public consumers in general.
5. Although COVID-19 came as a challenging undertaking, it is indeed an
experience that provides a deeper appreciation on the value of connectivity
and communication. With that in mind, the surge in the demand for digital
technologies have become an opportunity for Brunei Darussalam to further
reiterate our aspiration to become a Smart Nation.
6. I would like to take this opportunity to share recent developments on
ICT industry of Brunei Darussalam. On 24th January 2020, Brunei
Darussalam’s ICT industry underwent a significant restructuring exercise with
the consolidation of network infrastructure under one wholly Government
owned network operator and three service providers with their respective
competitive packaging. As a result, demand for fixed broadband has
increased by four times, while usage of fixed data and mobile data have
increased by 60% and 23% respectively. With effect on the same date, the
Government has also restructured its telecommunication regulatory and
licencing regime by no longer imposing its annual licence fee for every mobile
service subscriber in Brunei Darussalam.
7. Most recently, on 4th June 2020, the Digital Economy Masterplan 2025
for Brunei Darussalam was launched. With the vision of Smart Nation through
Digital Transformation, the Masterplan provides steer and direction towards
impactful digital transformation across various economic clusters. At this
juncture, key technological developments such as big data, artificial
intelligence and 5G are among the main focus areas being pursued in Brunei
Darussalam to power sustainable innovation and progress.
8. In exploring the potentials and opportunities of 5G technologies, Brunei
Darussalam is now conducting a study through its National 5G Taskforce.
The Taskforce comprising of government, industry and academic agencies, is
FINAL AS DELIVERED: 12 JUNE 2020
entrusted to come up with recommendations from different perspectives on
5G for Brunei Darussalam.
9. Brunei Darussalam places significant values and priority on regional
collaboration and partnership. As we face a global pandemic, initiatives to
advance digital economy become key to our economic and social resilience.
Our dependency on connectivity and data have become more apparent.
10. The impacts from cybersecurity threats can be as damaging as a
pandemic. Hence, it is through regional partnership and collaboration that we
build our mutual resilience. It is very pertinent for us to find a balance that
advances our digital economy initiatives while preserving our network and
11. Lastly, we look forward to having further continued exchanges in
experience and knowledge on digital economy. More importantly, we certainly
look forward and welcome the programs and initiatives proposed by H.E. Miao
Wei, Minister of Industry and Information Technology, China, in the areas
related to digital economy that can be implemented under the ADGMIN +
China platform for our shared mutual benefits.
Copyright © Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications, Brunei Darussalam. All Right Reserved.