Thailand optimistic about getting ICT boost

Economy December 01, 2015 01:00

By SIRIVISH TOOMGUM
THE NATION

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THAILAND expects the recent regional IT ministers meeting will lead to further joint information and communication technology developments - including e-commerce and a smart city project - with Asian countries.



The 15th Asean Telecommuni-cations and IT Ministers Meeting (TELMIN) in Vietnam on Thursday and Friday.
ICT Minister Uttama Savanayana met with his Asean counterparts and ICT ministers from dialogue partners such as Japan, China and South Korea.
Uttama said South Korea was interested in Thailand’s digital economy projects and existing smart city project. 
He said it also asked for more information about these projects so it could look for areas it could participate in.
Thailand and South Korea also discussed a plan to a sign memorandum of cooperation to define which areas of ICT development they will collaborate, he added.
He said he discussed with his Japanese counterpart launching more ICT collaborations, including on the expansion of disaster warning system.
Japan has studied the operation of Thailand Post Co to see how its related agencies would help strengthen Thailand Post’s operation. Thailand Post and its Japanese counterpart will sign a memorandum of cooperation to determine the areas of collaboration. That is expected to occur early next year.
 
Collaborations
Uttama also held a bilateral dialogue with Singapore’s ICT minister. 
Earlier both countries had planned to sign a MoU for several ICT collaborations before it was suspended. Now they have agreed to sign a MoU for many areas, such as e-commerce, the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises so they have better access to digital technology, business outsourcing and cyber security.
Thailand submitted the new draft of the MoU for Singapore’s consideration. Uttama said that the deal would be signed as soon as possible.
At the Vietnam meeting the Asean ICT master plan 2020 (2016-2020) was endorsed. The objectives of the master plan include driving Asean into the digital economy era, the use of ICT to establish smart cities and create new business opportunities, and promoting secure online communities.
Uttama said the US would take part in the next meeting as a dialogue partner late next year. He said the discussion among Asean members and dialogue partners focused on key topics, including cyber security, e-commerce and bridging the digital divide in member countries.
Japan proposed to Asean the creation of the Asean-Japan Cyber Security Hub. Asean agreed in principle to the proposal but needs to talk more in detail before committing to it.
South Korea proposed a collaboration to develop e-commerce applications and startup companies in the region.