The key outcome of the 18th ASEAN Telecommunications and IT Ministerial Meeting, held for two-day in Bali, Republic of Indonesia, was the Ubud Declaration on Aiming the Future of Digital Ecosystem for ASEAN Prosperity. The declaration encapsulates agreement on key areas aimed to better position ASEAN in seizing new growth opportunities in the digital economy, by enhancing the digital ecosystem so as to improve ASEAN's competitiveness.

Representing Brunei Darussalam at the meeting was Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof, Minister of Communications. The meeting also endorsed the ASEAN Framework on Digital Data Governance, which is aimed at strengthening the data ecosystem, achieving legal and regulatory alignment of data regulations and governance frameworks. The ASEAN TELMIN is held annually that gathers ICT Ministers from ASEAN Member States to discuss and decide on the direction of ICT cooperation within ASEAN and with dialogue partners.

The 18th ASEAN TELMIN proceeded with sessions on exchange of views among the ASEAN Ministers which focused on four topics of emerging importance in the ICT sector. During this session, the Minister of Communications, amongst others, shared his views on a more focused approach on cybersecurity. He also highlighted on the importance of close coordination amongst ASEAN Member States, and on the need to continuously develop expertise and talent in order to keep pace with the trends and challenges of cybersecurity in this era of Digital Economy. During the meeting, the ASEAN ministers held exchange of views sessions and agreed on five priorities namely Cybersecurity; Connectivity and mobility; Smart city; Digital economy; and Manpower and society. The ASEAN Minister also held meetings with Dialogue Partners namely People's Republic of China, Japan, Republic of Korea and the International Telecommunications Union, ITU.

In the meetings, the ASEAN Ministers appreciated the progress achieved in the cooperation with dialogue partners. Under the respective Work Plans agreed with the dialogue partners, more collaborative activities will be explored and implemented, particularly on areas of emerging importance.

In addition, ASEAN has also extended the Memorandum of Understanding between ASEAN and China on Cooperation in Information and Communications Technology and the MoU between ASEAN and ITU on Joint Cooperation in ICT Development. The Minister of Communications also held bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, to discuss on efforts and initiatives to strengthen the bilateral relations in the field of Info-communications Technology, ICT with the respective countries.

Source: Radio Television Brunei