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AG calls for more ICT support

 

Nov 21, 2013 08:24:21 AM

AG calls for more ICT support Fiji's Attorney-General and Minister for Communications Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has called on the Asian countries to understand the unique  ICT development challenges faced by smaller and developing nations in the Asia-Pacific region.

Speaking at the Ministerial Roundtable at the Connect Asia-Pacific Conference in Bangkok, where discussions centered around "Envisioning Asia-Pacific 2020," a plan that establishes targets for mobile and Internet penetration in the region, Sayed-Khaiyum said while some of the lessons learnt by the Asian nations can be applied to countries in the South Pacific, there must also be an understanding and recognition of the specificities pertaining to the Pacific island countries, as well as the differences between them.

He said in this regard, they are calling on the countries of the Asia-Pacific, in particular the Asian countries, and organisations like the International Telecommunication Union for their collaboration and support.

Sayed-Khayum explained that because the economies of scale are so much smaller in the South Pacific, governments have to be a lot more innovative in terms of attracting private sector participation, and often times, have to shoulder more of the responsibility for investment in ICT infrastructure.

"The population of the South Pacific is around 10 million, 7 million of which is Papua New Guinea alone. Compare this to the 10 million new mobile connections made each month in India and it’s clear that the nature of both public and private sector investment in ICT infrastructure is bound to be different for Pacific island nations,” he said.

He added that once the differences are understood and recognised, the nations of the Asia-Pacific and multi-lateral organisations like the ITU would be better positioned to form clusters of support for ICT development in Pacific Island Developing States to achieve the 2020 goals set by the leaders.

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