Thailand and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will co-host the Connect Asia-Pacific Summit 2013 in Bangkok. The summit will be held back-to-back with the ITU Telecom World 2013, which is a world class exhibition showcasing the latest ICT advances.
The Connect Asia-Pacific Summit, the fifth of its kind, will be held at the IMPACT Exhibition and Conference Center on 18 November 2013. It will take place against the backdrop of growing opportunities in a rising Asia-Pacific, supported by enhanced regional integration, such as in the emerging ASEAN Community.
The summit will bring together global leaders, ICT ministers, CEOs, and senior officials to exchange views on the digital challenges and opportunities. This will be an important opportunity for leaders of countries in the Asia-Pacific region to foster a shared vision and strategy for creating an inclusive information society, in line with the objectives of the World Summit on the Information Society.
In his statement at the Seoul Conference on Cyberspace 2013 on 17 October 2013, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said that Thailand is building resources both in terms of access to technology and developing useful electronic contents. It is constantly upgrading telecom services, including providing the latest generation mobile data, greater availability of wireless access points, and affordable smart devices.
He said that the Thai government is committed to expanding public WiFi services and broadband internet coverage in order to help bridge the digital divide and to prepare the country for the ASEAN Community in 2015. Thailand places special emphasis on capacity-building projects, particularly human resource development at the grassroots level. For example, Thailand is focusing on ICT development at the basic education level by promoting the “One Tablet per Child” project in order to support universal access to information and greater empowerment for the younger generations.
“Our priorities also include the development of ICT for disaster management; public health or e-health; and the empowerment of women, children, the elderly, and the underprivileged. More importantly, Thailand believes that equal access to digital contents will create a truly knowledge-based society. And equipped with the knowledge to effectively use the digital information, the users can help stimulate innovation, enhance productivity and generate employment, particularly for SMEs. These socio-economic opportunities will contribute to the inclusive growth and sustainable development that we all seek,”
Mr. Surapong explained.
Although the Internet and ICT development offer tremendous benefits, he called for the awareness of the dangers and security implications of the ever-increasing use of cyberspace. He said that Thailand looks at cybercrime as a transnational threat in the same vein as trafficking in persons and narcotic drugs. In promoting an open and secure cyberspace, he stressed the need to stop online vice and criminality. Thailand also pledges its full cooperation with the international community in efforts to combat cyber threats and bridge the digital divide for global prosperity.