The Asia-Pacific region, which is home for over 4 billion people and even larger number of devices, is poised for further ICT growth in this broadband era. The diversity of the region in terms of its socio-economic development, geography, language and demography, poses tremendous challenges while providing great opportunities for development and business partnerships. The Connect Asia-Pacific Summit is appropriately timed, as we need to look beyond just ICT infrastructure deployment and work towards building a digital society that would harness the full potentials of ICTs for improving the quality of lives for the people.
Increasingly, we are pleased to see initiatives and innovations by the countries in the region to leverage ICTs, not only for commercial purposes but also to propel socio-economic development through job creation, universal education, healthcare enhancement, enhanced efficiency in agriculture, creating energy efficient and smarter cities to name a few. There are also challenges of security and privacy that require redressal. It is quite clear that ICT infrastructure and services in coming years require partnerships involving private sector, public institutions and the people.
This Summit is aimed at helping to mobilize the human, financial and technical resources needed to provide the broadband connectivity to the wider population and to strengthen the role of ICT as the innovative and creative engine powering economic prosperity and sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region. I am sure that joining this Summit will enable all stakeholders from the Asia Pacific region to work together and this would be a big step towards further development of ICT in this region. The Asia-Pacific Telecommunity is pleased to be part of this initiative by the International Telecommunication Union and will be continuing its efforts to enhance the ICT development in the Asia-Pacific region through its membership in collaboration with the stakeholders.