The Connect Asia-Pacific Summit builds on the success of four such preceding events: Connect Africa 2007, Connect CIS 2009, Connect Arab 2012, and Connect Americas 2012. The Summit comes at an opportune time. First, the fifth World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-10) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) which was held from 24 May to 4 June 2010 in Hyderabad, India adopted the Hyderabad Action Plan. The Action Plan adopted five Asia and the Pacific Regional Initiatives which are intended to address specific telecommunication/information and communication technology (ICT) priority areas, through partnerships and resource mobilization to implement small, medium and large scale projects. The following are the identified priority areas:
- Unique ICT Needs of Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Islands Developing States (SIDS), and Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs);
- Emergency Telecommunications;
- Digital Broadcasting;
- Broadband Access and Uptake in Urban and Rural Areas
- Telecommunication/ICT Policy and Regulation in ASP
Second, both the review of the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society will be up for review in less than two years i.e. in 2015.
Third, the Asia-Pacific region has just held the Regional Preparatory Meeting in Cambodia which was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia from 30 April to 2 May 2013.
Fourth, the Asia and the Pacific is now home to some of the most advanced economies in terms of ICTs and it is the largest regional ICT market. Key ICT services and uptake have increased throughout Asia and the Pacific, the world’s most populous region in world, which is also the most diverse region in terms of income levels and ICT uptake and use. Despite high-growth and record absolute numbers, penetration rates of ICTs in the region are lower than those of the world.
In coming up with this publication, our attempt is to highlight the importance of implementing the priorities of the region and to hasten the region’s pace towards the establishment of an Information Society. Through close consultations with the Member States in the Region and other stakeholders, I am pleased to submit these interesting projects as an input to the Summit. I note with much satisfaction, that submissions were received from diverse entities that included Member States, Regional Organizations, United Nations Organizations, Private Sector, etc.
As development partners converge in Bangkok, these documents will provide an insight or glimpse into investment opportunities in the telecommunication/ICT sector. Based on our experience with the Asia-Pacific region as well as other regions, the figures given are indicative and not conclusive.
It is my fervent hope that development partners will sit to negotiate and conclude bilateral and multilateral agreements aimed at co-financing some of these projects. Let me assure you that ITU is ready to play a catalytic role to ensure that ICT play a pivotal role in the region’s development efforts.
I thank you.
Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau